ACM Urges Preservation of Temporary Visa Exemptions for Nonimmigrant Students

International Students Vital to Successful US Computer Research and Education

ACM, the Association for Computing Machinery, a global scientific and educational organization representing the computing community, expresses concern over the intention announced on July 6, 2020 by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) to promulgate a final rule effectively revoking current exemptions under the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) for up to 1.6 million nonimmigrant students taking online courses adopted in light of the COVID-19 pandemic.

The open exchange of ideas and the freedom of thought and expression are central to the aims and goals of ACM. ACM supports the statute of International Council for Science in that the free and responsible practice of science is fundamental to scientific advancement and human and environmental well-being. Such practice with respect to computer research and education is deeply dependent upon the active and ongoing research and teaching by international graduate students currently matriculated at US-based institutions of higher learning. Without them, particularly upon minimal notice in an uncertain public health environment, the education of American and all other students – both graduate and undergraduate – at hundreds of American schools will be badly disrupted at best and permanently damaged at worst.

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