Statement from UAW on International Students’ Policy

Today in Boston, Mass., a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and MIT challenging Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s (ICE) new directive on student visas was heard. The UAW immediately filed an amicus brief in support of the Harvard/MIT lawsuit, held demonstrations at ICE headquarters and state capitols across the country and stood with the Attorney Generals in Massachusetts. Connecticut, New York, Washington, and California to launch their own challenges. And we succeeded.

The Government agreed to rescind the directive and any efforts to implement it going forward. Since July 6 2020, when this unprecedented directive was issued, we have heard from thousands of our members whose livelihoods stood to be disrupted. While we claim victory today, we remain concerned about an Executive Order issued on June 22 that prohibits non-immigrant visa holders from returning to the United States to study and work until the end of the year. This Executive Order is damaging to our economy, our members, and universities.

Barring international workers from entering the U.S. will make the COVID-19 crisis even worse. Cutting visa programs will not deliver a single additional job, rather it will reduce the number of jobs available to U.S. workers, and it will lessen the quality of scientific research in the U.S. over the long term. We remain dedicated to reversing this order.