Help ASPB Push Back – Hard! – Against the DHS’s Proposed New Rules for International Students

Whether you are a citizen of, resident in, or visitor to the United States, the Trump Administration’s proposed new rules for F & J visa holders are bound to adversely impact you and your research projects, sooner or later. If implemented, these new rules from the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) would also severely curtail opportunities for students from all over the world to travel to the U.S. to pursue their studies in the future.

The key rule change would eliminate the current “duration of status” approach to international students holding certain categories of visa – an approach that allows students to remain in the U.S. so long as they remain in compliance with the terms under which they were admitted to their program of study.

In place of this, DHS would implement a fixed term model – just two or four years, depending on the student’s country of origin – and a requirement that each visa holder either apply for an extension of the initial term or leave the U.S. at its conclusion.

The consequences for the plant science research community would be immediate and profound, and ASPB has joined many of its sibling organizations in opposing this rule, submitting this formal response to voice our objections.

There are ways that, working together, we can at least delay implementation of the new rules while legal challenges against them make their way through the U.S. court system and/or the Congress weighs in to apply the brakes.


Every proposed new rule must be open for public comment, and the U.S. government is obliged to read and respond to each comment that is submitted within a specified timeframe. The government’s responses can be aggregated if they address related concerns raised by several respondents, so it is vital that we submit as many individual, unique responses as possible.

There are two ways for you to respond. You may submit your own comments directly to the DHS; or you may leverage a tool developed by the American Physical Society (and shared with societies across STEM) to help fashion your own, unique response. Either way, you are welcome to reference ASPB’s submission, but your response will have greater impact if you customize it to include your own questions and perspectives. Please note that all responses are public record.

Please seize the initiative, help preserve the integrity of the plant science research community in the U.S., and push back – hard! – against the proposed DHS rule change. Submit your comment as soon as possible; the deadline for receipt of comments is Monday, October 26.

3 thoughts on “Help ASPB Push Back – Hard! – Against the DHS’s Proposed New Rules for International Students”

  1. The proposed new rule with fixed time limits on foreign students and visiting scholars will adversely impact our ability to conduct NSF-funded research that is foundation to US innovation. The visa limit will make it difficult to recruit the best and brightest
    international students to participate in our research efforts.

    • Well said, Zhongchi and Heven,

      This new rule is not good for Science and for America. Without the foreign students, scientific progress in the past 80 years would have been stunted, directly affecting the strength and reputation of America. The visa limit prevents the recruitment of best students. For those students who still wish to come it means that they will waste a few years of their time and their schools will waste their initial investment without harvesting any fruits.

  2. The proposed DHS rule will directly push back advances in science in the U.S. The US has been leading the world in biological , medical, and computer sciences. Graduate students and post-doctoral associates work at the frontier and are pioneers in their field. Limiting their time before a project is completed is like asking soldiers to stop fighting midway and go home before a battle is won.


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