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06/24/2021: Presidents' Alliance Advocacy with House Judiciary Committee

06/10/2021: ACE and Other Higher Education Association's Advocacy Letter to State Department Regarding Proclamation 10043

  • This advocacy letter  is in regards to the Presidential Proclamation 10043, “ Suspension of Entry as Nonimmigrants of Certain Students and Researchers from the People's Republic of China.
  • While affirming a full support of ACE and other higher education associations for the efforts by the federal government to identify and address threats to our national security, the letter expresses a strong concern that a broad application of Presidential Proclamation 10043 is causing delays in students’ academic careers and critical projects.
  • In addition, the letter asks for a briefing from the U.S. State Department so that higher education institutions and stakeholders can understand the implications of Presidential Proclamation 10043 on our international students and scholars.


Advocacy Campaigns:

Fall 2021 Advocacy


05/05/2021: U.S. Department of State Responds to UC President’s Advocacy Letter for International Students

  • This message was a response to the April 30, 2021 advocacy letter signed by President Drake and all 10 Campus Chancellors.
  • While affirming that international students are a priority for the Department of State, it goes on to highlight their latest efforts to allow a greater number of international students to enter the U.S. for Fall 2021.
  • In addition, the message acknowledges international students’ valuable and deep impact on U.S. campuses and communities across the nation.


04/30/2021: University of California Advocacy Letter to DHS and DOS Term

  • The advocacy letter signed by President Drake and all 10 Campus Chancellors advocates for the re-opening of U.S. embassies and consulates, allocating resources to address visa appointment and processing backlogs, and online visa interviews or waiving in-person interviews in order to facilitate the timely arrival of international students and scholars in the summer and fall.
  • It complements all the recent advocacy efforts and letters sent to DHS and DOS by numerous higher education associations.
  • In addition, it sends a clear message to our community that the UC system supports and welcomes international students and scholars to our institutions.


03/18/2021: AAU and Other Higher Education Organizations Urge DOS and DHS to Take Action Ahead of Fall 2021 Term

  • Association of American Universities (AAU) joined American Council on Education (ACE) and 39 other higher education organizations on a letter to State and DHS urging them to take action on several issues ahead of the Fall 2021 semester – visa processing, consulate re-openings, ICE guidance, and travel restrictions.
    The letter outlines several items State and DHS could do to help prepare for Fall 2021 including prioritizing student visas, waiving requirements for in-person interviews, relaxing ICE guidance, and expanding the exemption for students to allow more than those just from Europe/UK/Ireland to be exempt from travel restrictions.

Optional Practical Training (OPT) Program Advocacy


Regarding Delays in USCIS Receipt Notices


March - June 2020

In the last several months, numerous trade, industry, and higher education assocations and groups are focusing their advocacy efforts on the Optional Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT Programs. The OPT program offers talented international students, who complete their degrees, the opportunity to remain in the U.S. for a period of time and enhance their educational experience. Recent media coverage indicates that the current administration plans to curtail the OPT and STEM OPT program. Changing the program would serve to undermine decades of collaborative work between U.S. and international partners in the fields that contribute to the health and economic security of our country.

OPT Advocacy Efforts: 

Post- Election Considerations for the Biden Administration

Advocacy Campaign in Opposition to the Proposed Duration of Status (D/S) Rule

Official Comments Submitted to the U.S. Government:


Letters of Opposition to the Proposed Rule:

COVID-19 and Fall 2020 Advocacy

Current advocacy efforts are focused on COVID-19 and the pandemic’s impact on the international student and scholar community. In particular, efforts are underway to engage with the Administration and Congress to advocate on behalf of the international student community. There is also pending litigation by State of California and University of California.

COVID-19 and Fall 2020 Advocacy Efforts: 


Take Action:


Messages of Support


Taking Action

Learn about Free Speech

UC San Diego supports student expression, rights and responsibilities to move toward positive, educational use of Free Speech. The pursuit of knowledge cannot be carried out without the ability to explore and express all ideas freely and openly. As part of this pursuit of knowledge, we encourage the UC San Diego community to keep learning about free speech and expression.


What Can You Do?

  • Stay Informed

  • Reach Out

    • Contact ISPO for advice and information. We are here for you.
  • Join

    • Urge Congress to support international students and scholars by joining advocacy efforts. Reference our Advocacy Legislative Guide which highlights what your legislators can do and tips for how to communicate with your legislator. Contacting representatives is a good way to see change done, regardless of your status in the United States or situation.



AAU – Association of American Universities

The Association of American Universities is composed of America’s leading research universities. AAU member universities collectively help shape policy for higher education, science, and innovation; promote best practices in undergraduate and graduate education, and strengthen the contributions of leading research universities to American society.

ACE – American Council on Education

The American Council on Education (ACE) is a membership organization that organizes, mobilizes, and leads advocacy efforts that shape effective public policy and help colleges and universities best serve their students, their communities, and the wider public good. ACE is the only major higher education association to represent all types of U.S. accredited, degree-granting institutions: two-year and four-year, public and private.

APLU – Association of Public and Land-grant Universities

The Association of Public and Land-grant Universities (APLU) is a research, policy, and advocacy organization dedicated to strengthening and advancing the work of public universities in the U.S., Canada, and Mexico.  The association's membership consists of 244 public research universities, land-grant institutions, state university systems, and affiliated organizations.

DHS – U.S. Department of Homeland Security

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) is responsible for maintaining data on international students who come to the United States to study. DHS's Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) works both with international students and designated school officials (DSOs) at U.S. institutions of higher education that host international students. The Department also maintains a website with additional information called Study in the States.

DOS – U.S. Department of State

The U.S. Department of State provides information about opportunities for study in the United States through the Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs (ECA). In addition to offering information, ECA operates exchange programs that facilitate international student mobility, such as the Fulbright, Humphrey, and English language programs. The Bureau of Consular Affairs provides information about understanding the student visa process.

ICE – U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement

As part of ICE, Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) examines, deters and interdicts threats arising from the movement of people and goods into and out of the United States. With respect to international students, HSI established ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and the web-based Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) to collect, maintain and analyze information so that only legitimate nonimmigrant students and exchange visitors gain entry to the United States.

NAFSA: Association of International Educators

NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the world's largest nonprofit association dedicated to international education and exchange. NAFSA serves the needs of more than 10,000 members and international educators worldwide at more than 3,500 institutions, in over 150 countries.

USCIS – U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) is the federal agency that oversees lawful immigration to the United States. We are a component of the Department of Homeland Security. Some of the services we provide include: citizenship, working in the U.S. and more.