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NAFSA: Association of International Educators 1307 New York Avenue NW Eighth Floor Washington, DC 20005-4701 Telephone: 1.202.737.3699 Fax: 1.202.737.3657 E-mail: inbox@nafsa.org http://www.nafsa.org

President and Chair of the Board of Directors Meredith M. McQuaid, JD University of Minnesota Vice President for Education and Professional Development Mary H. Reeves, PhD Commission on English Language Program Accreditation Vice President for Member Relations Susan M. Thompson University of Nevada, Las Vegas Vice President for Public Policy and Practice Sherif Barsoum Vanderbilt University Treasurer Peter M. Robinson U.S. Council for International Business Secretary Bonnie Bissonette Northcentral Technical College Executive Director and CEO Marlene M. Johnson

May 2, 2011

The Honorable Janet Napolitano Secretary of Homeland Security U.S. Department of Homeland Security Washington, DC 20528 VIA EMAIL Dear Secretary Napolitano, I write on behalf of NAFSA: Association of International Educators to request that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designate Libya for Temporary Protected Status (TPS). I also ask that you provide automatic extensions of current immigration status, deferred action, or other administrative remedy to allow those who would otherwise be required to leave the United States and return to Libya to remain here until TPS becomes available. As the world’s largest nonprofit association for international education professionals, NAFSA has nearly 10,000 members at colleges and universities throughout the United States and around the world. Our members who provide immigration guidance to international students and scholars have expressed grave concern over the impact recent events have had on Libyan nationals studying at U.S. campuses. According to SEVIS data recently provided by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, there are approximately 2,000 of these students and exchange visitors from Libya at U.S. colleges and universities, and we are particularly concerned about this population during these extraordinary conditions. At a time when it is impossible to predict when it will be safe for Libyans to return to their home country, these students and exchange visitors need an option for maintaining lawful immigration status. Many may also need to work to supplement income they anticipated receiving from family at home. It is especially important that TPS be granted as soon as possible, as the end of the spring semester is rapidly approaching and without clear action from DHS, students will be left in legal limbo. We also ask that DHS allow for automatic extensions of current status, deferred action, or other administrative remedy to allow Libyans to remain here until TPS becomes available. As Secretary of Homeland Security, you have often spoken, along with many other Administration officials, about the importance of international students on


The Honorable Janet Napolitano May 2, 2011 Page 2

our campuses and to our country. We share the belief that international education and exchange—connecting students, scholars, educators, and citizens across borders—is fundamental to establishing mutual understanding among nations, preparing the next generation with vital cross-cultural and global skills, and creating the conditions for a more peaceful world. But just as welcoming foreign visitors into our country brings benefits, it also brings special responsibilities. This is especially true when a foreign country is involved in armed conflict. Libyan students and exchange visitors on U.S. campuses need to know that the United States is prepared to see them through this dangerous time when it is not yet safe for them to return home, and we urge you to act expeditiously to address this important matter. Thank you for your consideration. Sincerely, Marlene M. Johnson Executive Director & CEO


NAFSA.5-2-2011