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Opinions on Inside Higher Ed

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Most campus officials are by now only too familiar with the challenges involved in obtaining permission for international students to get a visa to study at a college or university in the United States.

It’s no secret that a number of misguided policies imposed by the Trump administration — from the so-called Muslim travel ban to poorly thought out and badly implemented changes in visa programs and processing — have undermined America’s reputation as the destination of choice for the world’s most talented students. There have even been cases where students with a fully valid visa have arrived at a U.S. port of entry and have been immediately sent back to their home country for reasons that are opaque, at best, and usually with no recourse.

But the problem is not limited to the students who are denied a visa or turned away at the border. Sometimes the damage is done when federal agencies simply fail to act in a timely fashion. In this case, it’s the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), a part of the Department of Homeland Security. But the issues involved are ones the agency can and should be able to rectify during the early stages of […]

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