immigration

House Immigration Subcommittee Holds Hearing on U.S. Immigration Policy and Foreign Talent

On July 13, the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Citizenship held a hearing to discuss if current U.S. immigration policies are pushing foreign-born talent to other countries, specifically Canada, including talent in science and research. The subcommittee heard testimony from Executive Director of the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP) Stuart Anderson; Associate Professor at Howard University Dr. Ronil Hira; Chief Executive Officer of the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS) Dr. Sudip Parikh; and Chief Executive Officer of Technology Councils of North America (TECNA) Jennifer G. Young. Subcommittee Chairwoman Zoe Lofgren (D-CA) and Ranking member Tom…

Trump-Era Visa Restriction for Skilled Foreign Workers Expires

The Biden White House has decided not to renew a proclamation issued by former President Trump that restricted foreign travel to the United States. The now-defunct proclamation was notable for restricting the availability of the H1-B visa for skilled foreign workers, a category of visa that is commonly used by scientific and academic organizations to recruit international STEM workers and scientists. First implemented in June 2020 and extended through the end of March 2021, the proclamation was widely criticized by the scientific community as stifling the scientific workforce and harming relationships with global scientific talent (see previous COSSA coverage for…

National Academies Launches “Hauser Policy Impact Fund” with Webinar Series

The National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine’s Division of Behavioral and Social Sciences and Education (DBASSE) has launched a new initiative, the Hauser Policy Impact Fund. The fund, named for longtime (now retired) DBASSE Executive Director Bob Hauser, aims to ensure that social science analysis and synthesis has a better chance to guide informed policy decisions. The activity will begin with a webinar series featuring three issues at the forefront of current policy discussions and that have diversity, equity, and inclusion as a central focus. Each webinar will feature policy and research experts as well as discuss policy implications…

Biden Executive Actions: Immigration and Research Security

On January 20, President Biden issued a presidential proclamation ending several orders from the Trump Administration banning certain individuals from traveling to the United States, primarily, individuals from African countries and countries with large Muslim populations. The proclamation also reverses many Trump-era practices used to aggressively tighten immigration such as restrictions on the visa process and the intrusive screening of individuals’ social media accounts. At the same time, the Biden Administration has signaled potential actions related to the security of the U.S. research enterprise (see COSSA’s January 2020 and October 2020 Hot Topics for more info). In particular, the Biden…

ICE Proposes Major New Restrictions to International Student Visas

On September 25, the Department of Homeland Security’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) released a proposed rule fixing the initial visa term for all international students, exchange visitors, and foreign media representatives to four years, among other restrictions. Furthermore, the proposal would restrict the initial visa term to two years for individuals born in countries designated as state-sponsors of terrorism and citizens of countries with student and exchange visitor overstay rates over 10 percent. Applications to extend the duration of the visa would be possible “if the additional time needed is due to a compelling academic reason, documented medical illness…

White House Issues Ban on Entry of Skilled Foreign Workers

On June 22, President Trump issued a proclamation further extending restrictions on foreign travel to the United States in order to reduce the competitiveness of the U.S. labor market. The proclamation argues that due to the economic downturn and resulting unemployment caused by the coronavirus pandemic, foreign workers “pose an unusual threat to the employment of American workers.” The proclamation prohibits the entry of foreign workers under several visa categories commonly used by science and academic institutions to hire employees with unique skills and specialized training, including H-1B and H-4 visas, for skilled workers and their spouses respectively; J-1 visas,…

CJRA and COSSA to Host “Ask a Criminologist” Panel Exploring the Connection Between Immigration and Crime

COSSA and the Crime & Justice Research Alliance (CJRA) (a collaborative effort of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences and the American Society of Criminology, both COSSA members) will host the fourth in a series of “Ask a Criminologist” Congressional briefings on Monday, June 24. This interactive briefing will explore the relationships between immigration trends, policies, and public safety. The discussion will be moderated by CJRA Past Chair Dr. Nancy La Vigne of the Urban Institute and Dr. Anthony Peguero of Virginia Tech University. Featured speakers will include Dr. Daniel E. Martinez of the University of Arizona, Dr. Janice Iwama of American…

COSSA Joins Scientific Community in Call for End to Travel Ban

On January 31, COSSA joined over 170 other leading scientific organizations on a letter to the Trump Administration calling for it to rescind its January 27 executive order that placed a hold on legal travel to the for citizens of seven countries. The letter states that the undersigned organizations “are deeply concerned that this Executive Order will have a negative impact on the ability of scientists and engineers in industry and academia to enter, or leave from and return to, the. This will reduce U.S. science and engineering output to the detriment of America and Americans.” The letter is available…

NAS Releases New Reports on Immigrants, Forensic Science

The National Academy of Sciences (NAS) has recently released two noteworthy reports. The first, The Integration of Immigrants into American Society, compiles the available evidence on “how immigrants and their descendants are integrating into American society in a range of areas such as education, occupations, health, and language. The second report, sponsored by the National Institute of Justice (NIJ), examined NIJ’s efforts to advance forensic science research and recommend ways to improve its research program. The report, Support for Forensic Science Research: Improving the Scientific Role of the National Institute of Justice, finds, “NIJ has made progress in the past…

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