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Statement from Chancellor Rebecca Blank in support of non-immigrant visas

June 23, 2020

Chancellor Rebecca Blank released the following statement in response to an executive order on non-immigrant visas:

International employees, scholars and students are valued and important members of our community. They contribute to scientific discoveries and inventions that benefit our country’s health and well-being; they also provide significant educational support to undergraduates.

The executive order issued Monday that restricts future non-immigrant visas will seriously damage the innovation that drives U.S. economic growth as well as harming UW–Madison students, scholars and the university as a whole. Visas affected include H-1B and some J-1 visas (though research scholars, short term scholars and professors are not impacted).

UW–Madison currently has about 260 H-1B employees and about 610 J-1 scholars. They work in critical areas, including health and research, and their expertise cannot readily be replaced. It is important to maintain access to these visas so this work can continue.

International education and exchange has long been one of our nation’s greatest foreign policy assets, contributing to mutual understanding and building life-long relationships that benefit our country over time.

The university will continue to advocate in support of these programs, including through national higher education organizations. Scholars and employees with questions about these changes can receive information and support through International Faculty and Staff Services and the Employee Assistance Office.