13th District Congressman Rodney Davis came out in support of the rescission of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement guidance threatening the legal status of international students. Davis led a bipartisan group of Congressional leaders in a letter opposing the July 6th ICE guidance that would have seen nearly 40,000 Illinois international students deported because of a lack of in-person learning this Fall due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Trump Administration rescinded the ICE guidance late Tuesday evening as several universities along with several states’ attorneys general filed lawsuits about the guidance. Davis’ letter asked ICE to extend the temporary exemption already granted for international students in March. Davis said in the letter that the agency’s guidance would interrupt educational opportunities for foreign students and negatively impact the U.S. economy. Davis says those students created or supported 458,290 jobs in the country last year. The National Association of Foreign Student Advisers reports international scholars contributed $41 billion to the U.S. economy during the 2018 school year.
Davis also voiced support of Illinois Attorney General Kwame Raoul and attorneys general that joined the legal fight against ICE. Davis said in the letter that lawsuits should not be used as a last resort to get policy changes and disagreements sorted out. 14 Republican members of Congress along with several Democrats signed the letter in support.