Immigration FAQs

Update on Travel Ban Executive Order September 25, 2017
Update on Status of Executive Order
Update on DACA September 5, 2017
For Students
For Departments
For Employees
UO's support for DACA students
Responses to Immigration Enforcement
Allies and Supporters of UO’s Global Community

 


UO is carefully tracking changes in immigration rules since the Executive Orders on January 27 and March 6, 2017. We realize that many people in our community are quite concerned and need a one-stop location for answers to the most common questions about this changing situation. Please find such questions, and our current best answers at this FAQ page.

Please share your suggestions for additional topics or refinements to the information here with the Office of International Affairs. Please contact Dennis Galvan, vice provost for international affairs at dgalvan@uoregon.edu or Chakris Kussalanant, director of marketing and communications at chakris@uoregon.edu.

 


September 25, 2017: Update on Excecutive Order

On September 24, 2017, the US presidential administration issued a proclamation restricting travel to the United States by citizens of eight countries (“travel ban”).  This travel ban replaces the revised executive order (EO) issued March 6th, 2017.  

The September 24th travel ban indefinitely suspends many types of travel to the United States for most citizens of Chad, Iran, Libya, North Korea, Syria, Venezuela, Yemen, and Somalia.  Unlike the March 6th EO, the September 24th travel ban may directly affect some current or prospective UO students, faculty, staff, and visiting scholars. 

The September 24th travel ban restricts travel for nationals from the eight countries in the following manner:

  • Iran: The entry of foreign nationals from Iran as immigrants is suspended indefinitely.  The entry of foreign nationals from Iran as nonimmigrants is suspended indefinitely except for nationals entering on student (F and M) or exchange visitor (J) visas.  Iranian nationals who wish to enter the US on an F, M, or J visa will be subject to as of yet undefined advanced screening and vetting procedures.  This would seem to leave open the possibility that Iranian students and visitors might continue to come to the UO, but we remain cautious about the issuance of new visas given the unknown new screening and vetting procedures.  
  • Venezuela and Somalia: The entry of foreign nationals from Venezuela and Somalia as immigrants is suspended indefinitely.  All foreign nationals from Venezuela or Somalia who wish to enter the United States on non-immigrant visas (e.g. student, exchange visitor, tourist, etc.) will be subject to as of yet undefined advanced screening and vetting procedures.  Additional restrictions apply to the entry of some Venezuelan government officials and their families.  This would seem to seem to leave open the possibility that Venezuelan and Somali students and visitors might continue to come to the UO, but we remain cautious about the issuance of new visas given the unknown new screening and vetting procedures.  
  • Chad, Libya, and Yemen: The entry of foreign nationals from Chad, Libya, and Yemen as immigrants or nonimmigrants under business (B1), tourist (B2), or business/tourist (B1/B2) visas is suspended indefinitely. The proclamation does not explicitly address students and university visitors on F, M or J visas.  We remain extremely cautious and uncertain about the impact of these new restrictions on the issuance of new student and visitor visas for these countries. 
  • Syria and North Korea: The entry of foreign nationals from Syria and North Korea as immigrants and nonimmigrants is suspended indefinitely.  We believe that this means that the only way students and visitors from these countries will be able to come to the UO is via the consular waiver process discussed below. 

The travel ban does not revoke the rights or status of any person who holds a valid US visa or equivalent legal status (e.g. US permanent resident, person granted asylum, etc.) on October 18th, 2017.   For example, students and visiting scholars who hold valid F or J visas will not have their visas revoked.  However, once a visa expires the new restrictions will come into effect.  Current students, visiting scholars, and employees affected by these changes should consult closely with the Office of International Affairs, the Office of General Counsel, Human Resources, or an independent immigration attorney before traveling outside the US.

The travel ban gives US Consular officers the ability to grant waivers to permit the entry of individuals from the eight countries.  Waivers will be decided on a case by case basis.  Although the travel ban outlines specific examples that would provide appropriate circumstances for a waiver (e.g. denying entry would cause the foreign national undue hardship), it is unclear whether and to what extent waivers will be granted. The UO remains quite cautious given the uncertain political and legal environment.

On September 25th, 2017, the US Supreme Court cancelled a review of the March 6th executive order scheduled for October 2017.  It remains unclear whether the US Supreme Court will hear challenges related to any of the travel bans. 

The travel restrictions and limitations described in the September 24th travel ban take effect at 12:01am on October 18th, 2017.


September 5, 2017: Update on DACA

Today, the US presidential administration announced the cancellation of the Deferred Action of Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program. Today’s announcement indicates that:

  1. The program will officially expire in six months, on March 5, 2018.
  2. New applications to the DACA program will no longer be accepted. 
  3. Those currently under the DACA program seeking two-year extensions to their DACA status will have until October 5, 2017 to request these extensions. Thereafter, no extensions will be issued. 
  4. It remains unclear how immigration enforcement officials will treat DACA participants during the six months before program expiration. There are indications that they will not be targeted for deportation, as well as indications that Homeland Security will not issue any special guidance to immigration officials to shield them from deportation during this time.  

Since its enactment in 2012, the DACA program normalized the immigration status of about 800,000 people, who, when they were young children, were brought by their parents or family into the US without documentation. Today's announcement means that, beginning in 6 months, these individuals, none of whom chose to enter the US illegally, will have their immigration status revoked and will be subject to deportation. 

As noted by President Schill (Mandarin) (Spanish), the University of Oregon condemns the cancellation of the DACA program and encourages Congress to move immediately to pass legislation to restore the immigration status of so-called Dreamers. These 800,000 young people, none of whom chose to enter the US illegally, now face major disruption of their studies, work and lives. The cancellation of DACA makes us weaker as a country and as a university, because, as President Schill notes, "our many differences enrich this institution’s learning environment...[and] the future of our nation’s economic prosperity also depends upon embracing immigrants and making sure that they are educated to become productive citizens and positive contributors to the economy."

As an institution that celebrates diversity, including diversity of national origin, our commitments remain clear:

  • UO welcomes and supports all our students irrespective of immigration status or country of origin. 
  • As noted in President Schill’s 16 November 2016 message UO will not cooperate with immigration enforcement or share immigration information unless directed to do so by a court order.
  • As the UO’s DACA and Undocumented Students page makes clear, “in alignment with the UO mission statement and values, we foster the unique gifts and talents of Dreamer students and promote their sense of belonging and safety, as they pursue their higher education goals. We use the term “Dreamers” to refer to Undocumented, DACA, Tuition Equity, and students of mixed status families.”

The UO is reaching out to every student personally impacted by this decision, to ensure they are aware of the full range of services and support available to them. 

Please continue to check this site for updates on UO support for DACA and undocumented students. 


June 26, 2017: Update following United States Supreme Court Announcement

 

On June 26, 2017, the United States Supreme Court agreed to review the US presidential administration’s March 6, 2017 Executive Order (“travel ban”), which placed restrictions on refugees and on immigrants from six predominantly Muslim countries (the original Executive Order was blocked by lower court injunctions). The review will begin in October 2017 and will likely take several months. 

The Supreme Court lifted the injunction blocking parts of the Executive Order, allowing the travel ban to go into partial effect. This ruling also clarified that a refugee or immigrant cannot be denied entry if they have a “bona fide relationship to an individual or entity” in the United States.

A few days later, on June 29th, the State Department issued guidelines to US embassies and consulates defining “bona fide relationship to an…entity” (such as a university) to include admitted students, faculty and staff with current employment offers, and visiting scholars with formal invitations from US universities.   

This means the March 6th Executive Order does not apply to UO students, faculty, staff, and visiting scholars from the six targeted countries.

UO recognizes that while our international operations are eased by the rules on “bona fide relationship to an entity" in the US, members of our community may be adversely impacted by the Supreme Court decision and the subsequent State Department guidelines.  We will continue to offer them our full institutional support and compassion. 

We continue to monitor this fluid situation, and will post further updates as we have them.

 

March 15, 2017: Update on Statuses of January 25 and March 6, 2017 Immigration Executive Orders

 

On March 15th, a U.S. District Court in Hawaii issued a nationwide order that temporarily blocked the implementation of key sections of a March 6th Executive Order that placed restrictions on admittance of immigrants and refugees. This ruling was followed by a similar order issued by another U.S. District Court in Maryland.  

Although the March 6th order is temporarily blocked, the UO remains quite cautious considering the uncertain political and legal environment surrounding the multiple Executive Orders that seek to establish additional guidelines for admittance of immigrants and refugees into the U.S.  The UO suggests that students, faculty, and staff that could be affected by the March 6th order consult closely with the international support team at UO and independent immigration counsel.

On March 6th, 2017, the US presidential administration issued a new executive order which superseded a previous January 27, 2017 executive order which had been blocked by federal courts.

The new executive order established additional guidelines for admittance of immigrants and refugees into the U.S. It was scheduled to take effect on March 16th, 2017.

The March 6th order established a 90-day ban on issuance of visas to individuals from 6 countries (Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen).  This ban applies to nationals from those six countries who:

  • are outside the U.S. on March 16th, 2017;
  • did not have a valid visa at 5:00pm EST on January 27th, 2017, and;
  • do not have a valid visa on March 16th, 2017

Nationals from the six targeted countries who hold valid visas or green cards are exempt from the ban.

The new executive order also gives US immigration officials the discretion to allow entry to people from the six targeted countries who are continuing work or study in the US, have significant business or professional obligations in the US, or are reuniting with family in the US.

The UO remains quite cautious that this discretion will be exercised in a way that actually permits the normal flow of new students, new employees and visiting scholars wishing to come to the UO.

The ban on entry no longer applies to Iraq, yet section 2.g. orders DHS to subject visa applications and other admittance decisions regarding Iraqi nationals to “enhanced scrutiny.” 

The March 6th Executive Order and corresponding memo to the Department of Homeland Security does not expressly mention or refer to the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) program.

The original Executive Order 13769 of January 27, 2017, is now revoked, effective date of this new order (March 6).

On January 25, 2017, the administration also issued an executive order on immigration enforcement within the United States. This order required the Secretary of Homeland Security to take a series of actions related to “border security” and enforcement of current federal immigration laws, including the “planning, designing, and construction of a physical wall along the southern border” and enhancement of detention and deportation proceedings for undocumented immigrants.

On February 21st, the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security issued two memos outlining implementation procedures for the immigration and border security executive order issued on January 25th, 2017. These memos highlight changes to immigration enforcement policies and procedures undertaken by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Agency and the U.S. Customs and Border Patrol (CBP). They instruct these agencies to hire more staff and more aggressively identify, arrest and remove undocumented immigrants who have committed a wide range of crimes, as well as anyone who may, according to an immigration official, “pose a risk to public safety.” They enhanced the detention capabilities of federal immigration officials, eliminated the so-called “catch and release” policy (which allowed for undocumented immigrants to be paroled into the U.S. while awaiting an immigration hearing), and expanded the process of expedited removals to include any undocumented immigrant who does not qualify for asylum and cannot prove that they had lived in the United States for at least two years.

The memos also call for an expansion of a voluntary program through which local law enforcement can request to be designated as immigration officers. The Governor of Oregon has taken steps to prevent such designation in any jurisdiction in the state.

The February 21st guidelines also note that, at present, U.S. immigration enforcement policies related to Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) have not changed, but will be the subject of further clarification from the Department of Homeland Security. A White House Spokesman went on to stare that the future of the DACA program was not a “settled matter.”

The University of Oregon’s policies regarding undocumented and DACA students remain unchanged. For more information on the UO's support for DACA students visit blogs.uoregon.edu/dreamers/.

The UO continues to follow this situation closely and will update this page as additional political or legal developments occur.

For Students

Q: If I am a UO student, faculty or staff member from one of the eight countries (Iran, Chad, Venezuela, Libya, Somalia, North Korea, Syria, or Yemen) targeted by the September 24th, 2017, proclamation on immigration (“travel ban”), and I am currently a resident in the US, is it okay for me to travel outside the US?

A: Although the September 24th proclamation does not rescind the legal status of U.S. residents or visa holders from the eight targeted countries, the UO urges caution and suggests that UO students, faculty, and staff consult closely with the international student support team and your own immigration counsel before traveling outside the U.S.

The September 24th proclamation bans entry into the U.S. of most individuals from the eight countries who do not hold current visas. Students, faculty, and staff from the eight countries who hold current visas should be unaffected by this order and should be free to travel outside and return to the U.S. However, we strongly suggest that you should undertake travel only with the guidance of your own immigration counsel, and with an expectation of heightened scrutiny and delays at the US border. Please also consult closely with the international support team at UO before you travel outside the US.

There is not yet clarity on implementation of these rules or whether U.S. federal courts will review this new travel ban, so we suggest you consult closely with the international student support team at the UO and your own immigration counsel as this complex and fluid situation evolves. 

The temporary travel ban may ultimately become permanent with respect to any or all of the six countries or, after a review of all countries as ordered by the President, additional countries. Thereafter, there is not yet clarity on how rules may change, so we suggest you consult closely with the international student support team at the UO and your own immigration counsel as this complex and fluid situation evolves. 

Q: If I’m from one the eight countries targeted by the September 24th, 2017, travel ban and I am concerned about travel outside the US for the foreseeable future, what can the UO do to help so this does not negatively affect my academic progress, career plans, or personal life?

A: For academic progress issues, International Student and Scholar Services (ISSS) and the Office of Academic Affairs have established a committee of faculty members and department heads from units with the largest number of students from the targeted countries. Please contact ISSS director Abe Schafermeyer, abe@uoregon.edu or 541-346-1215, who will refer you to that committee, which will work with you on a case-by-case basis to find solutions to academic progress delays resulting from the recent travel bans.

For career concerns, please contact ISSS director Abe Schafermeyer, abe@uoregon.edu or 541-346-1215. We have limited emergency support funds and work-study positions set aside for students affected by the recent travel bans.

Q: Does the UO support undocumented and Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) students?

A: We have heard from numerous students, faculty and staff members that they are concerned about potential changes to immigration laws, especially as it relates to undocumented students and those covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals policy. We want to be very clear that we support all UO students, regardless of their immigration status.

The February 21, 2017 DHS memo specifies that the January 25, 2017 Executive Orders on immigration and border security do not change U.S. immigration enforcement policies for DACA. While it is too soon to speculate on what may happen in the future, the University of Oregon remains committed to the DACA policy and providing an inclusive campus that values global citizenship and engagement. International students, scholars, and faculty members as well as undocumented and DACA students continue to be protected by the same privacy laws and university policies as US citizens.

The UO has appointed Justine Carpenter, director of Multicultural and Identity-Based Support Services, to serve as campus point-person in support of undocumented and DACA students. Carpenter can be reached at 541-346-1123 or justcarp@uoregon.edu. For more information on the UO's support for DACA students visit blogs.uoregon.edu/dreamers/.

Q. What information is available about the BRIDGE Act?

A. Senators Lindsey Graham (R-SC) and Dick Durbin (D-IL) and Reps. Mike Coffman (R-CO) and Louis Gutierrez (D-IL) have introduced this bipartisan legislation in Congress that would allow people who are eligible for or who have received work authorization and temporary relief from deportation through DACA to continue living in the US with permission from the federal government. You can find additional information in a Q and A format at https://www.nilc.org/issues/daca/faq-bridge-act/.

Q: Where do I go with questions about support for undocumented students and community members on campus?

A: TThe university has created an administrative position that will be a point of contact. Justine Carpenter, director of Multicultural and Identity-Based Support Services, will serve as the University of Oregon’s point of contact and resource for those covered under the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program. Carpenter can be reached at 541-346-1123 or justcarp@uoregon.edu.

Q: I am an international student planning to study abroad. Is that still possible?

A: Yes, all international students are welcome to study abroad through Global Education Oregon (GEO, the UO’s study-abroad office). We will closely monitor immigration policy before and during your stay abroad. If you are from one of the eight countries mentioned in the recent travel ban and have a valid visa that lasts beyond your expected return date to the U.S., you are welcome to study abroad. However, if you are a student from one of the eight countries mentioned in the recent travel ban, we recommend that you consult closely with the international support team at UO before traveling outside the U.S. There is not yet clarity on implementation of these rules or whether U.S. federal courts will review this new travel ban, so we suggest you consult closely with the international support team at the UO as this complex and fluid situation evolves.

If you have specific questions or concerns about your ability to study abroad, please contact Tom Bogenschild, executive director of Global Education Oregon, tombogen@uoregon.edu or 541-346-4911.

Q: As a student, where do I go with additional questions?

A: International students can contact Abe Schafermeyer, director of International Student and Scholar Services, abe@uoregon.edu or 541-346-1215.


For Departments

Q: Is Premium Processing for UO H1B petitions currently available?

A: Yes! As of July 24, 2017, H1B premium processing filed by cap-exempt employers has been reinstated. Premium Processing for the H1B I-129 petition is a service provided by the Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) that offers a 15-day processing time, with a $1225 additional premium fee.
 

Q: What do I do if an immigration enforcement official requests information about a UO student, employee, or visiting scholar?

A: The UO Office of the General Counsel is the point of first contact for law enforcement officials seeking information about a UO community member. Contact the general counsel at 541-346-3082 or gcounsel@uoregon.edu.

The Immigration Legal Resource Center, an independent immigration rights nonprofit organization, has available on its website legal rights red cards, which anyone can print out and give to an immigration enforcement official to succinctly assert one’s rights in written form.

On November 16, 2016, the UO issued this statement to campus on these issues:

As is currently our practice, we will treat all students equally in keeping with our values of inclusion, diversity, and equity. This also means 

  • the University of Oregon will not facilitate immigration enforcement on our campus without a warrant or a clear demonstration of exigent circumstances such as the imminent risk to the health or safety of others
  • the University of Oregon Police Department will not act on behalf of federal officials in enforcing immigration laws
  • the University of Oregon will not share with the federal government any information on the immigration status of students unless required by court order

While the February 21 memo from the Department of Homeland Security seeks to expand the use of local law enforcement as immigration officials (under provision 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act), the University of Oregon stands by its statement of November 16, 2016, above.

Q: My unit is about to admit a student from one of the targeted countries. What should we do?

A: A few UO academic units are about to admit graduate students from the eight targeted countries. Any applicant who has secured a visa to enter the U.S. should be unaffected by this travel ban.  However, applicants who have received a letter of acceptance but have not yet been issued a visa will be affected by this order depending on their country of origin (see “September 25th: Update on Executive Order” information above). The travel ban leaves open the possibility that most students from Iran, Venezuela, Somalia, Chad, Libya, and Yemen could receive visas to study at UO, but we remain cautious about the issuance of new visas given the unknown new screening and vetting procedures. 

Although Section 3.c. of the September 24th travel ban outlines waiver procedures that could allow prospective students, faculty, and staff from all eight countries to enter the U.S., it remains unclear the extent to which (if at all) waivers will be granted for foreign nationals from Syria and North Korea.

The following language has been approved by the Office of the General Counsel for use in admissions communications:

Please note that the new US administration is implementing new immigration policies and visa rules pursuant to a September 24, 2017 Executive Proclamation. Beginning October 18th, 2017, travel to the U.S. by foreign nationals of Iran, Libya, Chad, North Korea, Venezuela, Somalia, Syria, and Yemen who do not hold current visas will be severely restricted.  These new restrictions vary depending on the country of origin and travel purpose.  Individuals from the eight countries who hold valid U.S. visas or other relevant legal status prior to October 18th should be unaffected by this order. 

These new restrictions seem to allow for the issuance of new visas for students from Iran, Libya, Chad, Venezuela, Somalia and Yemen, though implementation is unclear and we remain cautious about the extent to which any new visas will be issued after the October 18th implementation date.  Thus, while our offer of admission represents our earnest desire for you to join our intellectual community here at the University of Oregon, this is always contingent on each admitted student successfully obtaining a visa to enter the US. Should visas from your country be suspended, we ask you to be in touch directly with the school or department you have been admitted to and decide on a possible course of action for your specific student.

Possible admissions actions or recourse in case a US ban affects applicants from a specific country (all actions approved by the UO general counsel):

a) Deferred admission
b) Defer admission until a later date, after which the student may need to reapply to a given program
c) Talk with an international advisor or the UO general counsel about your situation. Rules and regulations will likely evolve and become clearer under the new administration
d) Arrange for the student to reapply to a program in the next admissions cycle

 

Q: My unit is expecting a visiting scholar or guest lecturer from one of the six countries targeted by the executive order. Will they still be able to come?

A: The travel ban leaves open the possibility that visitors from Iran, Venezuela, Somalia, Chad, Libya, and Yemen could receive visas to study at UO, but we remain extremely cautious about the issuance of new visas given the unknown new screening and vetting procedures. Although Section 3.c. of the September 24th travel ban outlines waiver procedures that could allow visiting scholars from the eight countries to enter the U.S., it remains unclear the extent to which (if at all) waivers will be granted for foreign nationals from any of these countries.

If you are planning to host a visiting scholar from one of the six targeted countries, please be in touch with Kate Comiskey, International Scholar Advisor in the Office of International Affairs (comiskk@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5573), to explore ways UO can support your efforts within the parameters of current legal restrictions.

Q: Are there ways for UO faculty to signal they are supportive of students who may be struggling with these changes?

A: While UO rules prohibit use of public resources (UO email, websites, fora, etc) for advocacy of a personal political stance or support for a particular candidate, we can certainly express support for students who feel anxiety and stress as immigration rules change. This is a normal part of the advising and mentoring function of faculty.

Each student faces unique circumstances, so face to face listening is a powerful supportive strategy.

Please refer students to campus resources designed to support them, such as the ones listed below.

Many UO faculty are interested in being part of a national statement of support for concerned students, such as can be found at We Stand With Our Students set up by UCLA colleagues.

Finally, a small but simple gesture of support might include placing this Multilingual Welcome Poster for your office door, or other public spaces. High quality printed copies available by contacting the Office of International Affairs at intl@uoregon.edu or calling 541-346-3206.

Q: Where do I go with questions about international student, faculty, visiting scholar, or employee concerns and support?

A:  General questions about international policies and programs at the UO can be directed to Vice Provost Dennis Galvan in the Office of International Affairs, dgalvan@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5851.

International students can contact Abe Schafermeyer, director of International Student and Scholar Services, abe@uoregon.edu or 541-346-1215.

Visiting scholars can contact Kate Comiskey, international scholar advisor, comiskk@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5573.

International employees can contact Jennifer Doreen, international employment specialist, jdoreen@uoregon.edu or 541-346-2638.

DACA students should contact Justine Carpenter, director of Multicultural and Identity-Based Support Services, justcarp@uoregon.edu or 541-346-1123.


For Employees (Faculty and Staff)

Q: I am an employee who was born in one of the eight targeted countries. What impact does the executive order have on me?

A: If you have already entered the US on a valid visa, the travel ban does not affect your ability to remain in the US, to travel, or to work at the UO.  Before traveling outside the US, you should consult with international human resources to get an update on the status of reentry issues: Jennifer Doreen, international employment specialist, at jdoreen@uoregon.edu or 541-346-2638.

Q: What resources will the UO provide if I am unable to travel due to the recent immigration changes?

A: The UO administration will look into what resources can be provided on a case-by case-basis. UO employees whose travel is affected by the recent executive order are encouraged to contact Jennifer Doreen, international employment specialist, at jdoreen@uoregon.edu or 541-346-2638.

Q: I am an employee who is not from one of the eight targeted countries. Will the executive order affect my ability to travel?

A: If you are not from one of the eight targeted countries (Iran, Chad, Libya, Somalia, Venezuela, Syria, Yemen or North Korea), the September 24th travel ban does not affect you. If you are from Iraq, the travel ban may cause you to experience enhanced screening procedures and additional delays when you attempt to re-enter the U.S. after travel abroad.

Q: What is the “suspension of H1B premium processing” and how long will it last?

A: Premium Processing for the H1B I-129 petition is a service provided by the Department of Homeland Security (USCIS) that offers a 15-day processing time, with a $1225 additional premium fee. Since USCIS is currently backlogged with a six to eight-month regular processing time, this option can be essential for many new employees or current employees who wish to travel outside the United States. 

Starting April 3, 2017, USCIS will temporarily suspend the premium processing option for all H-1B petitions. This suspension may last up to six months.

Q: How will this impact campus business processes for new international employees?

A: Currently, USCIS is taking six to eight months to process H1B petitions, which necessitates premium processing for about 50-60% of UO petitions. Almost all new hires must be premium processed in order to ensure employability by the desired begin date. Current H1B employees who wish to travel must have an original USCIS approval notice if they need to apply for a US visa abroad or to re-enter the United States. This suspension will significantly affect both international travel and the hiring of new international employees.

Q: Why is USCIS temporarily suspending premium processing?

A: USCIS has given the following justification for the suspension:

“This temporary suspension will help us to reduce overall H-1B processing times. By temporarily suspending premium processing, we will be able to:

  • Process long-pending petitions, which we have currently been unable to process due to the high volume of incoming petitions and the significant surge in premium processing requests over the past few years; and
  • Prioritize adjudication of H-1B extension of status cases that are nearing the 240 day mark.”

Q: Whom should I contact if I am concerned that the suspension will affect my H1B petition or that of one of my department’s employees?

A: For any questions regarding current or future H1B employees, contact Kate Comiskey, Office of International Affairs, at ischolar@uoregon.edu; 541-346-5573.
 

Q: Are there ways for UO faculty to signal they are supportive of students who may be struggling with these changes?

A: While UO rules prohibit use of public resources (UO email, websites, fora, etc) for advocacy of a personal political stance or support for a particular candidate, we can certainly express support for students who feel anxiety and stress as immigration rules change. This is a normal part of the advising and mentoring function of faculty.

Each student faces unique circumstances, so face to face listening is a powerful supportive strategy.

Please refer students to campus resources designed to support them, such as the ones listed below:

  • Abe Schafermeyer, director of International Student and Scholar Services, abe@uoregon.edu or 541-346-1215.
  • Visiting scholars can contact Kate Comiskey, international scholar advisor, comiskk@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5573.
  • International employees can contact Jennifer Doreen, international employment specialist, jdoreen@uoregon.edu or 541-346-2638.
  • DACA students should contact Justine Carpenter, director of Multicultural and Identity-Based Support Services, justcarp@uoregon.edu or 541-346-1123.

Many UO faculty are interested in being part of a national statement of support for concerned students, such as can be found at We Stand With Our Students set up by UCLA colleagues.

Finally, a small but simple gesture of support might include placing this Multilingual Welcome Poster for your office door, or other public spaces. High quality printed copies available by contacting the Office of International Affairs at intl@uoregon.edu or calling 541-346-3206.

Q: Where do I go with questions about international student, faculty, visiting scholar, or employee concerns and support?

A:  General questions about international policies and programs at the UO can be directed to Vice Provost Dennis Galvan in the Office of International Affairs, dgalvan@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5851.

International students can contact Abe Schafermeyer, director of International Student and Scholar Services, abe@uoregon.edu or 541-346-1215.

Visiting scholars can contact Kate Comiskey, international scholar advisor, comiskk@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5573.

International employees can contact Jennifer Doreen, international employment specialist, jdoreen@uoregon.edu or 541-346-2638.

DACA students should contact Justine Carpenter, director of Multicultural and Identity-Based Support Services, justcarp@uoregon.edu or 541-346-1123.

For International Visiting Scholars

Q: I am a visiting scholar expecting to come to the University of Oregon. How will the recent executive actions affect my ability to come to Oregon?

A: Any visiting scholar or guest lecturer who has secured a visa to enter the U.S. should be unaffected by this order. However, visiting scholars and guest lecturers who have received invitations but have not yet been issued a visa will likely be affected by this order. We recommend you be in touch with Kate Comiskey, International Scholar Advisor in the Office of International Affairs (comiskk@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5573), to explore ways UO can support your efforts within the parameters of current legal restrictions. 

Q: Where do I go with questions about international visiting scholars?

A:  Visiting scholars can contact Kate Comiskey, international scholar advisor, comiskk@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5573.


Responses to Immigration Enforcement

Q: As a member of a UO unit, what do I do if an immigration enforcement official requests information about a UO student, employee, or visiting scholar?

A: The UO Office of the General Counsel is the point of first contact for law enforcement officials seeking information about a UO community member. Contact the general counsel at 541-346-3082 or gcounsel@uoregon.edu.

The Immigration Legal Resource Center, an independent immigration rights nonprofit organization, has available on its website legal rights red cards, which anyone can print out and give to an immigration enforcement official to succinctly assert one’s rights in written form.

On November 16, 2016, the UO issued this statement to campus on these issues: As is currently our practice, we will treat all students equally in keeping with our values of inclusion, diversity, and equity. This also means

  • the University of Oregon will not facilitate immigration enforcement on our campus without a warrant or a clear demonstration of exigent circumstances such as the imminent risk to the health or safety of others
  • the University of Oregon Police Department will not act on behalf of federal officials in enforcing immigration laws
  • the University of Oregon will not share with the federal government any information on the immigration status of students unless required by court order

While the February 21 memo from the Department of Homeland Security seeks to expand the use of local law enforcement as immigration officials (under provision 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act), the University of Oregon stands by its statement of November 16, 2016, above.

Q: As an individual, what do I do if I am stopped or questioned by an immigration enforcement official about my immigration status in the US?

A: You have the right to remain silent and to speak to an attorney before you answer any questions by an immigration official. For more information about your rights, visit immigrationimpact.com/2016/11/10/know-rights-refresher-immigrants.

If you are contacted by law enforcement, you may want to contact an immigration attorney about your specific situation and concerns. The American Immigration Lawyers Association provides information about how to select an immigration attorney and a list of immigration attorneys www.ailalawyer.org.

The Immigration Legal Resource Center, an independent immigration rights nonprofit organization, has available on its website legal rights red cards, which anyone can print out and give to an immigration enforcement official to succinctly assert one’s rights in written form.

Q: Can the UO refer me to an immigration lawyer?

If you are contacted by law enforcement, you may want to contact an immigration attorney about your specific situation and concerns. The American Immigration Lawyers Association provides information on how to select an immigration attorney and a list of immigration attorneys: www.ailalawyer.org.


Allies and Supporters of UO’s Global Community

Q: There seems to be considerable confusion about the recent executive order and other changes to US immigration policy. Where should I look for updated information?

A: The UO is closely watching all executive and congressional actions that affect our students, faculty, staff, and visitors. Should the recent executive order be expanded or amplified in any way, we will notify the university community as soon as possible. We are closely reviewing the executive order—and its impact—and we will keep the campus community apprised of developments in a timely manner moving forward. Updates on the current situation can be found above.

Q: Is there an official UO statement in response to changing federal immigration rules since the January 2017 change of administration in the US?

A: Yes, in the most recent statement from President Michael Schill and Provost Scott Coltrane: “UO values global engagement and our international scholars.”

Q: How will federal immigration laws change and what is the University of Oregon’s role?

A: Although there have been some short-term executive orders from the Trump administration affecting immigration policies, it’s not yet clear how federal immigration laws and regulations will change on a long-term basis. As the president’s priorities related to immigration and globalization take shape, the UO will continue to be vigilant, active, and in close communication with the Oregon governor and our federal congressional delegation to protect the interests and rights of UO students, faculty, staff, and their families.

Q:  I am an American citizen or a Permanent Resident (Green card holder) and I have traveled to one of the seven affected nations in the last few years. Will this Executive Order affect me?

A:  The Department of Homeland Security has been and will be paying special attention to American citizens and Green Card holders who have recently travelled to any of the countries on the list. Faculty, staff and students who have traveled to any of these countries recently should carry documentation and be ready to explain the purpose of their earlier travel to one of the affected countries. DHS officers will investigate and subject persons seeking admission to detailed questioning and will likely ask for passwords to electronic devices to read email and other communications.

Q: What is the UO’s stance on immigration enforcement on campus and sharing immigration data with federal officials?

A: On November 16, 2016, the UO issued this statement to campus on these issues:

As is currently our practice, we will treat all students equally in keeping with our values of inclusion, diversity, and equity. This also means 

  • the University of Oregon will not facilitate immigration enforcement on our campus without a warrant or a clear demonstration of exigent circumstances such as the imminent risk to the health or safety of others
  • the University of Oregon Police Department will not act on behalf of federal officials in enforcing immigration laws
  • the University of Oregon will not share with the federal government any information on the immigration status of students unless required by court order

While the February 21 memo from the Department of Homeland Security seeks to expand the use of local law enforcement as immigration officials (under provision 287(g) of the Immigration and Nationality Act), the University of Oregon stands by its statement of November 16, 2016, above.

Q: Will the UO declare itself a sanctuary campus?

A: There is no common definition of a sanctuary city or campus. The university is committed to protecting student privacy, ensuring student safety, and supporting student success, and, as information develops, to creating effective solutions that benefit students. We also share the concern expressed by leaders at other universities about how such a designation may inadvertently harm undocumented students.

Q: Does the UO officially support global engagement?

A: Global engagement is a core part of the UO’s pursuit of academic excellence. This is woven, for example, into our Excellence Strategic Framework, which

  • refers to the UO as a “close-knit, human-scale academic community with global reach” (p. 3)
  • describes our purpose as educating “informed participants in the global community . . . [to] enhance the social, cultural, physical, and economic well-being of our students, Oregon, the nation, and the world” (p. 4)
  • commits us to “expose all undergraduate students to meaningful research experiences and global perspectives” (p. 7)
  • commits us to “enhance diversity and global reach by recruiting top international students” (p. 10)

The UO makes considerable investments in global engagement through the following avenues:

  • International Human Resources provides services to international employees and UO employees who are working or traveling outside of the US
  • International Student and Scholar Services welcomes students, manages visas, and works with many campus partners to ensure academic success and a culture of support for our international students and visiting colleagues
  • Global Education Oregon is a large study-abroad operation that sends 25 percent of each graduating class on a study-abroad experience and provides access to study abroad for 30 partner universities
  • GlobalWorks is a new UO-managed international internship program with placements in two dozen locations around the world
  • The Global Studies Institute supports the faculty with international research projects and centers, global publication and grant-making collaborations, and international programming on campus
  • The American English Institute provides intensive English preparation for hundreds of students a year, some of whom go on to matriculate at the UO and many of whom continue elsewhere, but who come to the UO because of the AEI’s global reputation for excellence

Q: Where do I go with questions about international student, faculty, visiting scholar, or employee concerns and support?

A:  General questions about international policies and programs at the UO can be directed to Vice Provost Dennis Galvan in the Office of International Affairs, dgalvan@uoregon.edu or 541-346-5851.