Industry supports special aid for US students, but more support needed

The US Department of Homeland Security has also designated Cameroonian citizens for Temporary Protected Status, but stakeholders have called on authorities to expand SSR to “more effectively and efficiently” provide humanitarian assistance to the 930 Cameroonian international students. F-1 visa holders in the country. WE.

As of April 19, DHS said people from Ukraine or Sudan wishing to apply for TPS and SSR must file an application.

In March, Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro N. Mayorkas announced Ukraine’s 18-month TPS designation for those in the United States permanently since April 11 and Sudan’s 18-month designation. for TPS for those in the United States since March 1. However, the organizations urged the government to extend support to a wider range of people.

The DHS decision to offer aid to students from both countries could help the approximately 1,739 Ukrainian students and 324 Sudanese students in the United States, according to data from OpenDoors, the Presidents Alliance for Higher Education said. and immigration.

“The decision to couple SSR alongside TPS is very encouraging and should be applied to all countries in crisis,” Jill Welch, senior policy adviser to the Presidents Alliance, said in a statement.

The organization applauded the Biden administration for its recent efforts to “use TPS more zealously than previous administrations,” while NAFSA was “encouraged” to see the SSR announcement for international students from Ukraine, Sudan and other countries” that meet the “emerging circumstances” standard, as described in NAFSA’s SSR resource page.”

Together, TPS and SSR enable students to “continue their education and participate in our economy by continuing to work and live in the United States,” while providing protection for those whose home countries are in crisis, a added the Alliance of Presidents.

“International students want to further their education and SSR makes it possible for F-1 students”

“SSR is particularly important for international students from these countries who may need to work more off-campus hours or drop below a full-time course load without risking violating their student status,” Welch said.

“We urge DHS to continue to evolve toward greater responsiveness to the needs of crisis-affected populations determined to succeed and build a better future.”

“International students want to continue their education and SSR makes that possible for F-1 students,” said NAFSA Deputy Executive Director of Public Policy Jill Allen Murray. But NAFSA has urged the government to extend SSR to J-1 visa holders.

“NAFSA has long advocated for greater availability of SSR to international students from countries experiencing violent upheaval or other perils and has been eagerly awaiting its official announcement,” noted Allen Murray.

“Currently, SSR is only available to F-1 students. SSR for J-1s must be announced by the ECA with its own Federal Register notice, which has not happened.

The Alliance of Presidents has called on USCIS to ensure that SSR is provided simultaneously to students and scholars from conflict-affected countries whenever TPS is designated.

The SSR should be immediately made available to 7,107 Colombian students, 2,166 Ethiopians, 1,492 Salvadorans, 1,125 Congolese, 1,102 Guatemalans, 930 Cameroonians and 354 Afghan students, the organization said.

NAFSA also urged DHS and the State Department to “provide housing for students who have fled Ukraine and other crisis countries but are outside the United States and seek to study here.”

“This includes lifting visa processing requirements that prevent these students from entering the United States, including the current stipulation that visa applicants must interview in person with consular officials,” Allen noted. Murray.

“We are delighted that the administration has finally granted a TPS designation for Cameroon”

Authorities should also shorten the time between announcing aid and being able to apply for and receive aid, and speed up employment authorization paperwork based on economic hardship, the Presidents’ Alliance added.

For example, DHS announced that Afghanistan would be designated for TPS on March 15, but the designation is not effective until a notice is published in the Federal Register, which is expected soon, as NAFSA pointed this out.

“We are delighted that the administration has finally granted a TPS designation to Cameroon,” said Jose Magaña-Salgado, Director of Policy and Communications at the Presidents Alliance.

“We are grateful to Secretary Mayorkas, President Biden, and all the many people who worked tirelessly to make this happen. As the administration continues to use its authority to grant humanitarian aid through TPS, we hope that countries like Ethiopia, Guatemala and others will also be designated for TPS.