Key Takeaways and Virtual Recording Available: “Higher Ed Pathways to Immigration: Why it Matters” 


Key Takeaways and Virtual Recording Available: “Higher Ed Pathways to Immigration: Why it Matters” 

For Immediate Release: April 25, 2023

Contact: Diego Sánchez, 

To access virtual recording, visit HERE

BOSTON – Last Friday, more than 800 higher ed leaders, immigration experts, and U.S. government officials gathered online and in-person at the Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate in Boston for a half-day event, “Higher Ed Pathways to Immigration: Why it Matters.” 

A virtual recording of the event, co-hosted by the Kennedy Institute, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, the University of Massachusetts-Boston, and the Immigration Initiative at Harvard University, can now be found HERE.

Speakers and panelists highlighted how higher education can help more immigrants integrate into and contribute to our local communities as well as to our broader national dynamism and prosperity. Presenters also detailed how there are both obstacles that stymie the potential of DACAmented, undocumented, international, and refugee students and their longer-term stability and careers in the U.S., as well as opportunities to facilitate new higher ed pathways to help more immigrants integrate into and contribute to our communities. 

As The PIE News recapped the event: 

“Top 7 wish list items from leaders in #highered to government leaders according to the expert panel at The HE Pathways to Immigration Event”

  • Allow in-state tuition for all visa types [and Dreamers]
  • More application support for #firstgen
  • Reduce red tape in #intled
  • Increase #postgrad work rights
  • Improve #visa system
  • Help implementing #NewAmerican Act items
  • More #financialsupport for underserved #internationalstudents”


Speaker Quotes:

Adam Hinds, Chief Executive Officer at Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the U.S. Senate, stated: “The only way America makes our immigration system work is by deciding to work together. Dialogue is at the heart of the Kennedy Institute’s mission to invigorate civil discourse, inspire the next generation of leaders, and find bipartisan solutions for our nation’s challenges. Senator Kennedy brought people together to pass the most consequential immigration reform law in modern history, the Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965, and we are thrilled to continue that work by co-hosting an event spotlighting the role higher education can play in further expanding opportunities for immigrants across the world.”

Miriam Feldblum, Executive Director and Co-Founder of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, said: “Immigrant, international, and refugee students contribute immensely to our campuses, communities, and nation but too often face instability and obstacles that limit their pathways and potential. Many higher education leaders and institutions are eager to better serve our students and campus members who are navigating enormous complexities due to our outdated immigration system, and to advocate for much needed policy changes, such as passage of Dream legislation. Ultimately, Congress must act to modernize and fix our outdated immigration laws, and the Administration must do all it can within its power to facilitate the ability of undocumented, refugee and international students to access higher education and contribute fully in the workforce once they have graduated.”

Marcelo M. Suárez-Orozco, Chancellor University of Massachusetts, Boston and the UCLA Wasserman Dean Emeritus, served as moderator for a discussion featuring foreign-born, naturalized higher education leaders and alumni discussing their personal experiences. Chancellor Suárez-Orozco said: “In the American tradition we can say that immigrants built the University and the University built immigrants into proud Americans. From John Harvard to Reginaldo Francisco del Valle, UCLA’s forgotten forefather, immigrants have left an inedible mark on higher education. In the age of demographic decline when competition for talent will be ever more fierce, higher education must fully and unambivalently embrace and nourish immigrant talent as a smart and ethical pathway moving forward.”  

Professor Carola Suárez-Orozco, Director of the Immigration Initiative at Harvard University, said, “Immigrant origin students are diversifying and enriching our country and our campuses by bringing their new perspectives and boundless energies. Yet, they too often encounter obstacles as they navigate institutions that do not recognize them. As President Bacow has said, this begins with an “immigration system that is smart, compassionate and fair.” In conjunction, while institutions of higher education are the ultimate spaces of opportunity, they do not always meet their potential for these students in addressing their unique needs. Today’s meeting brought together thought leaders to bring attention to this issue and strategize ways to support this important constituency.”


The Edward M. Kennedy Institute for the United States Senate actively inspires
all Americans to keep our democracy and civic life vibrant, educate the public about
the unique role of the Senate in our government, and promote civil discourse to drive
bipartisan solutions for our nation’s challenges. Through educational programs, public
forums, and digital exhibits, the Kennedy Institute welcomes individuals of all ages
to debate the issues of the day, learn from each other, and leave empowered to make
their own contributions to improving their communities.

The Immigration Initiative at Harvard (IIH) advances interdisciplinary scholarship,
original research, and intellectual exchange on issues related to immigrant origin
children—the fastest growing child and youth population in our country (currently,
comprising 27% of children and 33% of all young adults). The Immigration Initiative
at Harvard serves as a place of convening for scholars, students, policy makers,
community leaders, and practitioners working on topics related to understanding and
serving this population. IIH serves as a clearinghouse for the translation of evidence-
based research to promising practices.

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 support undocumented, international and
refugee students, and advance forward-looking immigration policies and practices
at the federal level, in our states, and across our college campuses. The Alliance is
composed of 550+ college and university presidents and chancellors of public and
private colleges and universities, enrolling over five million students in 43 states, D.C.,
and Puerto Rico.

The University of Massachusetts Boston is nationally recognized as a model of
excellence for urban public universities. Part of the UMass system, UMass Boston
combines a small-college experience with the vast resources of a major research
university. With a 16:1 student-to-faculty ratio, students easily interact with professors
because most teaching occurs in small class sizes. UMass Boston’s diverse student
body provides a global context for student learning, and its location in a major U.S.
city provides connections to employers in industries such as finance, health care,
technology, service, and education, offering students opportunities to gain valuable
in-school experience via internships, clinicals, and other career-related placements.