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ASPPH Calls on DHS to Withdraw Visa Duration Proposal

ASPPH continues to closely monitor recent Trump administration executive actions, many of which are problematic and highly political. On Monday, ASPPH submitted formal comments to the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) expressing strong opposition to a proposed rule that creates a fixed duration of admission (of either two years or four years) for international students, scholars, and researchers on F or J visas. Currently, international students and scholars are allowed to remain in the U.S. as long as they are enrolled full-time in a program of study. ASPPH urged DHS to withdraw the proposal “as it would create unnecessary procedural uncertainty for international students by introducing a burdensome and bureaucratic extension of stay process to the normal visa system. This will further diminish our nation’s ability to attract and retain talented students just as other nations are expanding their incentives for international students to study and work in their countries.”

In recent weeks, ASPPH also commented on proposals related to safe voting, herd immunity, and efforts to block training programs that focus on racial sensitivity or recognizing and preventing unconscious bias. All of ASPPH’s advocacy documents are available online. ASPPH is still reviewing the implications of a Trump Executive Order (EO) issued late last week that creates a new classification within the federal workforce titled “Schedule F” for employees serving “positions of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character.” The EO attempts to strip civil service protections from these employees, which according to the White House includes federal scientists, attorneys, regulators, public health experts and others with senior roles. Federal employee unions on Tuesday file suit to block the order, which one Trump appointee said was an effort “to replace apolitical expertise with political obeisance.”