Disappointed in Parliamentarian’s Guidance, Alliance of 500+ Presidents Recommits to Inclusion of Higher Ed Provisions, Visa Recapture, and Affordable Immigration Fees



Alliance calls for urgent action for Congress to protect the nation’s undocumented immigrants

December 17, 2021
CONTACT: Jose Magaña-Salgado (

WASHINGTON, D.C.—In response to the Senate parliamentarian’s non-binding guidance stating that the Build Back Better Act’s parole provisions are likely not compliant with Senate rules and potentially cannot be enacted through reconciliation, the Presidents’ Alliance expressed deep disappointment and calls on Congress to continue to work to provide a roadmap to citizenship for the nation’s undocumented immigrants. In the meantime, we also call upon Senate leadership to ensure that the federal financial aid access provisions for DACA, TPS, and DED holders and visa recapture provisions remain in the legislation; and that the bill revisit and reduce some of the fees for international students. 

Jose Magaña-Salgado, Director of Policy and Communications, stated: “As a DACA recipient with an undocumented mother, today’s news is an unwelcome development, and represents yet another barrier for Congress providing relief to the nation’s undocumented population. The parliamentarian’s decision illustrates the paramount importance of the provisions in the Build Back Better Act that would expand federal financial aid access to TPS and DED holders, and DACA recipients such as myself. There are still a variety of ways that the Build Back Better Act can help and support immigrant communities, and unlocking access to federal financial aid, including Pell grants, should remain a key priority.”

Miriam Feldblum, Executive Director of the Presidents’ Alliance, stated: “In addition to expanding financial aid access, Congress still has an urgent obligation to pass a permanent solution for the undocumented members in our communities. Congress should also not miss this opportunity to enact other immigration-related portions of the Build Back Better Act, including the recapture of unused visas. Recapture would restore upwards of 220,000 “lost” visas that would go a long way to reducing our nation’s immigration backlog which would help both employment and family-based applicants, including the many students, alumni, and scholars seeking permanent status in the United States. Finally, we urge Senate leadership to revisit the issue of international student fees in the bill and eliminate most fees while reducing others to ensure that the United States remains competitive in attracting and retaining international student talent. As a coalition of college and university leaders throughout the nation, we will continue to seek any means available to protect and support our undocumented, other immigrant, international and refugee populations.”


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.