Our Mission

Founding Statement

We are an alliance of American college and university leaders dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact our students, campuses and communities.  We support policies that create a welcoming environment for immigrant, undocumented and international students on our campuses.

We believe

We are a nation of immigrants. Our country has benefitted significantly from the contributions that immigrants with drive, ambition and talent have made throughout our nation’s history. Our country advances when we remain true to the best of our heritage as a land of opportunity for those who dream of a better life for themselves and their children.

Colleges and universities play an integral role in securing our nation’s well-being and prosperity through our teaching, research, service, creative activities and contributions to workforce and economic development. For generations, colleges and universities have been engines of opportunity where individuals of every background, native born and immigrant alike, could receive the education they needed to rise as high as their talents would take them.

Undocumented immigrant students who have attended U.S. high schools are members of our communities deserving of dignity, respect and the opportunity to realize their full human potential.  Undocumented immigrant students who are able to pursue their academic and professional dreams contribute to our communities and country and help meet the challenges that lie before us, just as generations of immigrants have done before them.

International students and scholars enrich our campuses as educational and research environments. Our colleges and universities are magnets for the world’s talent, from those ready to contribute to our nation’s prosperity to those who dream of making their home countries more just, inclusive and equitable societies. The presence and contributions of international students and scholars are key to achieving our educational and service missions to create and disseminate knowledge for the betterment of the individual, society and the world. This enhances the education and understanding of all students, their preparation to live and work in an increasingly connected world, and their readiness to tackle global challenges.

Accordingly, we, the undersigned, will work together to

  1. Educate the public and policymakers about the value and contributions of international and immigrant students and scholars to our campuses, communities and nation.
  2. Improve how we support international and immigrant students on our campuses, including by sharing best practices with each other.
  3. Support the consideration and adoption of federal immigration policies and practices as well as relevant state policies that honor our values and commitments as educational institutions and press for re-examination of those that do not.

For the list of members of the alliance, click here.

Join Presidents' Alliance

2023 Annual Impact Report

Our 2023 Annual Impact Report showcases Presidents’ Alliance milestones and achievements in the past year. Our growth in just six years is a testament to our members’ commitment as higher education leaders to an educational system in which immigration status is not a barrier to success and stability, and immigrant, international and refugee students are welcomed and wanted on our campuses and in our nation.

As the only national organization singularly focused on the intersection of higher education and immigration, the Presidents’ Alliance is now a critical resource for our 550+ members and many partners on the immigration issues that impact our campuses, communities, and nation. 

Our future agenda is ambitious, and we need your continued support and engagement. Our success is built on the support and engagement of our members, the leadership of impacted communities, advocates, and experts, and the generosity of our funders, and we look forward to continuing to partner together to advance forward-looking immigration policies for students and their families. 

Download Presidents’ Alliance 2023 Annual Impact ReportView Past Impact Reports

What They're Saying

"Throughout its history, the United States has benefited from the abilities, creativity, and drive of immigrants from throughout the world. Immigration has helped to define our national identity and our constitutional principles, and it has enhanced the quality of students, faculty, and staff at our colleges and universities. For me, the value of immigration is also deeply personal. My mother came to this country as a refugee, and my father came first as a high school exchange student and then as a graduate student. I am grateful that the United States enabled my family to make its home here, and I am proud to join a coalition dedicated to expanding opportunity for new generations of people who want to contribute their talents and energy to our country and share in its promise of freedom."

President Christopher EisgruberPrinceton University, New Jersey

As an immigrant and first-generation college student, I fully understand the life-changing, transformative power that a college degree has on students, their families and our communities. The California State University and its 23 campuses are committed to providing life-changing opportunities to every student in California motivated to earn that achievement, regardless of birthplace or status. Joining the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration partners us with institutions and university leaders that share, embrace and promote the CSU’s principled values of excellence through inclusivity. Indeed, this alliance allows us to work collectively to weave the positive contributions of higher education throughout the complete fabric of our society, creating a stronger and more innovative, resilient and compassionate America.

Chancellor Timothy WhiteCalifornia State University, California

It’s truly an honor to be part of the President’s Alliance on Higher Education, and to have the opportunity to work alongside fellow higher education leaders as we ensure the success and well-being of all students is at the forefront. Now, more than ever, we must all collaborate to improve access and affordability at our nation’s colleges and universities, so that anyone with the desire and commitment to succeed is able to do so. Our campuses should serve as springboards for the academic and professional success of all students, and should also be places that embrace the sharing of ideas and celebrate diversity. At Miami Dade College, our differences make us stronger, and we strive every day to open the door of opportunity through education to anyone willing to work hard for a better future. I believe that at the Alliance, we are uniquely positioned to address crucial issues that deeply impact our students, such as the debate over comprehensive immigration reform, tuition affordability, inclusion and so much more. I look forward to the challenge, and believe that our work can truly make a difference in the lives of our students.

President Eduardo PadronMiami Dade College, Florida

I believe the Presidents' Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration can amplify our collective voice as we represent the needs and interests of the students in our educational institutions at the national level. At the university I serve, Southeastern University, we support students who have worked diligently to pursue their divine design through higher education. We understand that these students have endured many obstacles and challenges in their journey to receive an education. As a faith-based institution, we are committed to support every student, regardless of their immigration status or nation of origin, with a commitment to diversity, inclusion and nondiscrimination. It is our priority to provide students with the support they need to be successful in their God-given calling. The Presidents’ Alliance is crucial in providing our students the support they need through being a part of shaping this national conversation.

President Kent IngleSoutheastern University, Florida

An open and welcoming America is a thriving America. The moral greatness, economic vitality and educational excellence of our country is at stake in today’s immigration debates. As the proud daughter of Hungarian refugees, I am forever grateful to the country which gave my family refuge from tyranny and opened doors of opportunity to me and my sisters. And as a college president committed to preparing all students for success in a dynamic global society, I see firsthand the invaluable contributions talented and hard-working immigrant, undocumented and international students bring to our campuses and the larger community. I am proud to join this alliance and work with colleagues across the country to increase public understanding of why it is so important to our shared future that America remain an open and welcoming society.

President Elizabeth KissAgnes Scott College, Georgia

Founding Presidents and Chancellors

Leon Botstein

Bard College
Annandale-On-Hudson, NY

Sylvia Burwell

American University
Washington, D.C.

Louis Caldera

Co-Chair, Senior Advisor
Former President, University of New Mexico
Washington, DC

Nancy Cantor

Co-Chair, President
Hunter College - CUNY
New York, NY

Noelle E. Cockett

President Emerita
Utah State University
Logan, UT

Shirley M. Collado

Former President
Ithaca College
Ithaca, NY

Michael M. Crow

Arizona State University
Tempe, AZ

José Luis Cruz Rivera

Northern Arizona University
Flagstaff, AZ

John J. DeGioia

Georgetown University
Washington, D.C.

Christopher Eisgruber

Princeton University
Princeton, NJ

Mark H. Erickson

Northampton Community College
Bethlehem Township, PA

Jane K. Fernandes

Antioch College
Yellow Springs, OH

Drew Gilpin Faust

Harvard University
Cambridge, Massachusetts

Kent Ingle

Southeastern University
Lakeland, FL

Paula A. Johnson

Wellesley College
Wellesley, MA

Thomas LeBlanc

The George Washington University
Washington, D.C.

Patricia McGuire

Trinity Washington University
Washington, D.C.

David Oxtoby

President Emeritus
Pomona College
Claremont, CA

Eduardo J. Padron

President Emeritus
Miami Dade College
Miami, FL

Bart Patterson

Nevada State College
Henderson, NV

M. Lee Pelton

Emerson College
Boston, MA

Carol Quillen

Davidson College
Davidson, NC

M. David Rudd

University of Memphis
Memphis, TN

G. Gabrielle Starr

Pomona College
Claremont, CA