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US universities offer legal support to foreign students on visa woes

Source | The Economic Times : By Rica Bhattacharyya

MUMBAI: US universities, including Ivy Leaguers Yale and Harvard, have welcomed overseas students amid the rising protectionist din at home, reassuring scholars that their American dreams remain intact despite the regime change in one of the world’s oldest democracies.

The American Association of Universities, a group of about 25 institutions that include some Ivy Leaguers, Virginia, and Northwestern, are providing legal support to student-immigrants to protect them against new visa policies being put in place by the Donald Trump administration. Like Silicon Valley firms, these centres of academic excellence are also talking to US Congress deputies about the economic ill-effects of restricting immigration.

“Yale University joined with 25 of the other leading institutions in the US to file a brief in court when the initial immigration ban of January 27 was put forward and we made a very strong argument that it violated the US law,” Tamar Szabó Gendler, dean of the faculty of Arts and Sciences at Yale, told ET during an exclusive interaction in Mumbai.

“Since then, whatever new immigration ban has been put, Yale has been at the forefront to articulate what is and isn’t legal about them and what is and isn’t wise about them. That is because in addition to the question of legality, there is the question of our thriving intellectual culture,” said Gendler, who is currently in India’s financial capital.

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