AASCU supports strong, comprehensive immigration reform including passage of the Development, Relief and Education of Alien Minors (DREAM) Act. Every year approximately 65,000 undocumented students graduate from high school in the U.S. These students are first generation immigrants who were largely raised in the U.S. and consider themselves to be Americans. Passing the DREAM Act would clarify existing federal immigration law to allow states to determine the tuition status of undocumented students. It would also strengthen access to federal loan and work study programs for qualified undocumented students. Student qualifications may include those who were brought to the U.S. under the age of 16, have resided in the U.S. for five or more years, have graduated from a U.S. high school, and are individuals of good moral character who are pursuing postsecondary education to qualify for permanent residency status. AASCU believes that states’ authority over tuition policy must be preserved and respected.Absent Congressional action on the DREAM Act, AASCU supports the June 2012 administrative action that enables immigrant students to stay in the U.S. as long as they are enrolled in an institution of higher learning. Undocumented students who graduate from a state high school, document state residency and demonstrate intent to obtain U.S. citizenship should be eligibility for in-state, resident tuition rates. States should be discouraged from efforts to prohibit or restrict undocumented students from enrolling in public institutions.
Current law permits exemptions from the annual visa cap on H-1B visas for the academic community. AASCU supports legislative changes that would raise the current annual limit on new visas issued for employers.