ISSUES

A Year of Progress and Collaboration Amid Upheaval and Adversity


A Year of Progress and Collaboration Amid Upheaval and Adversity:
Here’s how your partnership advanced our work in 2023

 

Dear Affiliated Partners and Valued Members

As we approach the end of the year, I want to express gratitude for your continued interest and involvement with the Presidents’ Alliance.

In a year marked by legal challenges to DACA, congressional deadlock on immigration, and heartbreaking events within the country and at the border, I am deeply thankful for the significant accomplishments and milestones we’ve achieved together in 2023.

This year has been characterized by growth, collaboration, and meaningful initiatives, and the Presidents’ Alliance team and I are eager to share some of the highlights with you:

1. Launching Welcome Corps on Campus
This past summer, the U.S. State Department launched theWelcome Corps on Campus program and announced the implementing consortium, including the Presidents’ Alliance. This initiative, a result of the advocacy and engagement of our members, student leaders, and partners, empowers U.S. colleges and universities to play a pivotal role in resettling refugee students. Our joint collaboration to launch this transformative program reaffirms our dedication to expanding access and opportunities for refugee students.

2. Expanding Educational Opportunities for Dreamers in Massachusetts
Massachusetts higher education leaders, in collaboration with the Presidents’ Alliance, TheDream.US, and local advocates, celebrated asignificant victory. Massachusetts expanded eligibility for in-state tuition and state financial aid for undocumented students. This milestone ensures that more Dreamers can access higher education at Massachusetts public colleges and universities.

3. Launching the U.S. for Success Coalition
The Presidents’ Allianceco-led the launch of the U.S. for Success Coalition, a growing movement that started with 11 key education organizations, think tanks, and advocates, advancing international student success in the United States through a coordinated national effort. Since its launch, thecoalition has begun work in partnership with the U.S. government, higher education institutions, the business sector, and other key partners to foster supportive federal policies and practices that allow the U.S. to compete and cooperate effectively on the global stage.

4. Launching the State Legislative Tracker
The Presidents’ Alliance’s commitment to supporting policies that directly impact DACA, undocumented, international, refugee, and other immigrant-origin students has taken a leap forward with the launch of theState Legislative Tracker on the Higher Ed Immigration Portal. This powerful tool monitors pending state legislation affecting these impacted communities.

5. Mapping Out the Impact of Immigration Policies on Undocumented, DACA, International, and Refugee Student populations
In collaboration with research partners, including the Migration Policy Institute and American Immigration Council, and corporate sponsors, Shorelight and Duolingo, the Presidents’ Alliance provided critical insights and analysis on policies that impact the lives of Undocumented, DACA, international, refugee, and other immigrant-origin students.

6. Launching the Private Institutions Tool
The Presidents’ Alliance launched the Private Institutions Tool on the Higher Ed Immigration Portal. This tool provides information on admissions and financial aid policies and categorizes institutional policies and support services at private colleges and universities for undocumented, refugee, and graduate students.

7. Growing Community and Partnerships
The Higher Ed Immigration Portal community expanded to include 32 partners, both new and long-standing. This growth reflects our shared dedication to fostering collaboration, building tools and resources, and engaging users to advance positive policy change. As we look ahead to 2024, we’re excited about the upcoming goals and initiatives that will further strengthen our collective impact on the Higher Ed Immigration Portal.

8. Supporting Higher Education in Refugee Resettlement (SHERR)
The Presidents’ Alliance is a member of a consortium, led by World Learning and including ECDC and Welcome.Us, that has been awarded a capacity building grant focused on expanding higher education engagement in refugee resettlement. Supporting Higher Education in Refugee Resettlement (SHERR) identifies and strengthens “pathways of engagement” for U.S. colleges and universities to participate in resettlement; develops a suite of resources, tools, and training to support the work of the institutions; and creates networks for institutions to share best practices.

9. Launching the Undocumented Community of Practice Directory and Network
Since the launch of the Undocumented Community of Practice directory in April 2023, The Presidents’ Alliance and the Higher Ed immigration Portal have seen phenomenal growth, reaching a total of 156 profiles. These profiles, encompassing practitioners, faculty, administrators, and CBO staff from 32 states, highlight the collective strength of our community. Our community of practice meetings, initiated with a launch party in September, have provided invaluable insights into the challenges and successes of policy implementation.

10. Expanding the Undocumented Graduate and Professional Student Initiative
The Presidents’ Alliance expanded the Undocumented Graduate Student Initiative by establishing our inaugural Advisory Board, composed of campus leaders, faculty, administrators, undocumented students, and organizational experts. As part of this initiative, we launched the Undocumented Graduate & Professional Student Resource Hub.

As we celebrate these achievements, I express my gratitude for your continued support and partnership. Together, we have made significant impacts on the lives of many students and contributed to the advancement of inclusive and equitable pathways to higher education.

On behalf of the Presidents’ Alliance team, I am thankful for your active partnership in our work and I wish you a wonderful start to 2024.

Warm regards,
Miriam Feldblum,
Co-founder and Executive Director
The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration