Coalition of Over 500 College and University Presidents Release Policy Agenda for Biden Administration on Support for Immigrant, International, and Refugee Students

These recommendations provide a roadmap of priorities for the Biden administration

April 26, 2022
CONTACT: Jose Magaña-Salgado (

Washington, D.C.—The Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration is proud to share its Administrative Agenda for Immigration and Higher Education. Based on extensive research and years of combined expertise and experience, these recommendations highlight the importance of immigrant, international, and refugee students in our higher education institutions and communities overall. We urge the Biden administration to utilize these recommendations to continue to help the United States welcome and embrace the innumerable contributions of all students.

During the first year of the Biden administration, the higher education community has celebrated crucial first steps for our immigrant, international, and refugee students and scholars—though we note the need for continued progress to create a safe, equitable, and just immigration system for all. While only Congress can provide true permanent relief and paths toward greater opportunity for all of these populations, these recommendations serve as a critical down payment for future legislative action.

Jose Magaña-Salgado, Director of Policy and Communications for the Presidents’ Alliance, stated: “As a DACA recipient, I understand more than most the importance of initiatives such as DACA and ensuring they are robust and well implemented. The Biden administration has the tools to dramatically improve DACA, including adjudications, renewals, and eligibility criteria. We urge the administration to move forward on making significant, positive changes to DACA.”

Jill Welch, Senior Policy Advisor to the Presidents’ Alliance, stated: “Our recommendations seek to unleash the power of international students and scholars to build a stronger economy, solve global and local challenges, and strengthen our security. This administration has already taken several important steps to empower our colleges and universities in the midst of heightened competition from other nations for these talented students, but further action is still needed. These recommendations, if adopted swiftly and comprehensively, could help ensure that the United States remains the world leader in higher education for decades to come.”

Laura Wagner, Project Manager for the Initiative on U.S. Education Pathways for Refugee Students at the Presidents’ Alliance, stated: “As the global refugee crisis continues to grow, now is the moment for the U.S.  to create a complementary pathway through university sponsorship. In addition to providing an opportunity for refugees to access higher education, it creates a way for colleges and universities to live out their missions and expands the experiential diversity and perspectives on campuses across the U.S. With added pathways, guidance, and flexibility, colleges and universities stand ready to support the US promise and commitment to welcome and integrate refugees.”


The nonpartisan, nonprofit Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration brings college and university presidents and chancellors together on the immigration issues that impact higher education, our students, campuses, communities, and nation. We work to advance just, forward-looking immigration policies and practices at the federal, state, and campus levels that are consistent with our heritage as a nation of immigrants and the academic values of equity and openness. The Alliance is composed of over 500 presidents and chancellors of public and private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 43 states, D.C., and Puerto Rico.