Higher education and United States immigration: Legal and policy implications post-9/11
This study addresses legal and policy issues that affect higher education in the United States (U.S.), in particular the policy and legal implications of immigration after the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks (9/11). It begins with the premise that foreign students and scholars have played and must continue to play an active role in American academia. This premise stems from the notion of academic freedom, which is supported under the U.S. Constitution and the Bill of Rights, guaranteeing Americans the right to engage in and discuss ideological differences. When these rights are in conflict with the homeland security of the U.S., interests on both sides must be balanced, thereby protecting individual freedoms yet maintaining U.S. security. After 9/11, U.S. immigration laws and policies underwent rapid and in some instances substantial changes that directly impacted demographics in academia; namely, the number of foreign students and scholars participating in American higher education declined. A number of these changes created extensive delays in the visa application process resulting in foreign students and scholars missing the start date of their academic programs, and other times deciding to go elsewhere. The study also includes a review of the legislation pertaining to both immigration and higher education, analyses of legal cases and the policies implemented both pre- and post-9/11, as well as analyses of relevant statistical data. The findings include recommendations. Among them, it is incumbent upon Congress to pass comprehensive immigration legislation as soon as possible to address deficiencies in the U.S. immigration system and reduce security risks. Furthermore, the government must make the visa application process as effective as possible to preclude admission of individuals to the U.S. that present a security risk. Yet, any new changes must also be efficient and not overburden foreign students or scholars in the process of obtaining a visa to participate in American higher education.
0616: International law
0616: International relations
0745: Higher education