RE: Racist Aspects of the Recent DHS Proposed Rule to Eliminate F & J Visas Duration of Status (D/S)

Below is letter sent to one of the international education listservs of which I’m a member by a frequent contributor, Boston-based immigration attorney Richard L. Iandoli. (The italics are mine.)

He mentions the three white nationalist musketeers. Drop them a line, if the spirit moves you.

Stephen Miller, Senior Policy Adviser to the President and resident white nationalist in the White House: stephen.miller@whitehouse.gov

Chad Wolf, Acting Secretary of Homeland Security: chad.wolf@hq.dhs.gov

Ken Cuccinelli, Acting Director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services: Kenneth.T.Cuccinelli@uscis.dhs.gov

If you live in the US, follow this link to contact your US senators and congressional representatives.

Shalom (שלום), MAA

To my International Student & Scholar Advisor Colleagues and Friends:

I am writing to kindly ask that in your review of this proposed rule, you will specifically consider its racist intent and effects and that in your comments on the proposal, you and your institution will prioritize criticism of this administration’s attempt to institutionalize racism within the Federal Regulations.

We know painfully from the past 4 years that the authorship by Trump, Miller, Wolf and Cuccinelli is itself a red flag in the immigration field.  But the racist purpose and function of the proposed rule clearly show through the veneer of the authors’ law enforcement cover story.  You who work in the field know well that the cover story is a lie.

The proposed rule will profoundly discriminate against international students and scholars of color as it will intentionally, unnecessarily and severely complicate their American immigration journeys. DHS is repackaging its attack on D/S after its loss in Federal Court last year.  It is doing it in such a way that it will harm international students even more than last year’s flawed attempt.  But this year, DHS reveals that its real targets are international students and scholars of color.

Just read the list of the countries which DHS is openly targeting:

“Afghanistan, Benin, Bhutan, Burkina Faso, Burma, Burundi, Cameroon, Cape Verde, Central African Republic, Chad, Congo-Brazzaville, Congo-Kinshasa, Côte d’Ivoire, Djibouti, Equatorial Guinea, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Gabon, the Gambia, Ghana, Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Guyana, Haiti, Iraq, Kenya, Kosovo, Kyrgyzstan, Liberia, Libya, Malawi, Mali, Mauritania, Moldova, Mongolia, Nepal, Niger, Nigeria, Papua New Guinea, the Philippines, Rwanda, Samoa, Senegal, Sierra Leone, Somalia, South Sudan, Sudan, Syria, Tajikistan, Tanzania, Togo, Tonga, Turkmenistan, Tuvalu, Uganda, Uzbekistan, Vietnam, Yemen and Zambia.”

The citizens of these targeted countries are almost exclusively persons of color and are disproportionately nationals of African countries.

The proposed rule will frustrate, discourage, complicate, and make far more expensive the F & J visa processes for these people of color.  Its intent and effect are to reduce their numbers, interrupt their studies and truncate their tenure in the U.S.

It is particularly hurtful that in the era of BLACK LIVES MATTER, this administration boldly rolls out a policy designed to restrict equal access by people of color to American higher education  This roll out must be named for what it is: “Institutional Racism”. 

American schools simply cannot allow DHS to restrict the international diversity which the schools have worked so hard to build.

I hope you will also invite your other interested campus offices, organizations and academic departments to comment on this proposed rule. 

I know you will comment on the myriad other flaws in the proposal.  Please consider making an explicitly anti-racist comment a priority, perhaps even the lead comment.

Thank you for your audience.

Sincerely,

Richard

Richard L. Iandoli, Esq., Iandoli Desai & Cronin P.C., Boston, MA

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