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As international scholars and researchers, we believe a fair and humane immigration policy and the free and open exchange of people and ideas across borders are essential to both science and a just society.
One of the fundamental tenets of our union is to advocate at all levels for rights, policies, and opportunities which reflects these values. Our working group meets weekly to organize, share information, and carry out that work. Recent actions include taking on ICE’s international student ban and winning, resisting Trump’s attacks on non-immigrant visas, organizing info sessions [check out the videos oh this page] in rapid response to the Trump Administration’s xenophobic policies, and filing an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case challenging the Trump’s travel ban. In 2016, UAW helped win the Optional Practical Training STEM extension.
Join our union’s international working group to develop an even stronger information and support network for international students and scholars. To get involved, contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Are you directly impacted by recent policies (travel bans due to COVID-19, embassy closures, etc)? We are collecting stories of impacted Postdocs and ARs as these stories can be very powerful in helping push back against these restrictions. We will only use any information you provide with your permission. If you are directly impacted, please fill out this form.
Please read on to learn more about what Postdocs and ARs are working on together on issues impacting international scholars. If you have questions regarding you and/or your family’s immigration/visa status, please don’t hesitate to get in contact at email@example.com and we will do everything we can to help.
Have questions? Visit our FAQ for international Postdocs and ARs.
Through our contracts, our union has won increased rights for international Postdocs and ARs by ending UC’s practice of denying health benefits for many international Postdocs and ensuring equal treatment regardless of immigration status. UAW has also been a critical resource and provided a political voice for international students and scholars to affect national policy. Efforts have included working with members of Congress to help win the Optional Practical Training STEM extension.
Recently, UAW 5810 members have joined with organized academic workers across the country to actively oppose the Trump Administration’s xenophobic policies and to support international workers. Those actions have included:
- December 2020: UPDATE: In September, UAW members across the country stood together to oppose the Department of Homeland Security’s proposed changes to shorten F- and J- visa durations. Because over 30,000 comments were submitted, the DHS will unlikely have time to review all the comments before Biden’s inauguration.
- October 2020: We mobilized against a proposed rule by ICE to shorten visa stays for international scholars. Tens of thousands of public comments were submitted against the proposal, including by UAW Academic Workers, Local 5810, and the President of the UAW International.
- July 2020: When ICE announced its directive to deport international students taking online classes due to COVID-19, UAW Academic Workers took to the streets, protesting outside of ICE offices, sharing our stories with the press, and submitting a formal declaration in the lawsuit to overturn this xenophobic policy. Thanks to direct action, in addition to efforts by our university and government allies, ICE reversed this policy.
- June 2020: An Executive Proclamation was issued handing down an array of new visa restrictions, including for H1-B visa holders. UAW 5810 members swiftly responded by reaching out to allies, elected officials, and the immigrant rights community in an effort to stop these restrictions, many of which were ultimately rolled back because they served no legitimate purpose.
- April 2020: In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, UAW 5810 members organized to protect funding for universities and researchers. In addition to actively pressing UC to avoid austerity measures, we sent thousands of letters asking Congress to ensure that university research and researchers receive adequate support.
- October 2018: UAW Locals 5810, 2865 and 4121 worked with Congressional Representatives Judy Chu (San Gabriel Valley, California) and Pramila Jayapal (Seattle) on a Dear Colleague letter demanding that Secretary of State Pompeo restore the validity period of Chinese international students’ entry visas from 12 months back to 60 months.
- September 2017: The UAW International filed an amicus brief in the Supreme Court case challenging the Trump administration’s travel ban.
- Ongoing: Given the changing landscape of policies impacting international scholars, UAW 5810 regularly hosts information sessions with immigration attorneys to help Postdocs and ARs know their rights and stay up to date.
Find more information about how our union is fighting back against recent policies targeting visa holders, click here.
WATCH: UAW Academic Workers Visa Updates and Immigration Info Session Sept. 30, 2020.
WATCH: UAW Academic Workers Information Session on ICE Announcement
WATCH: UAW 2865 and UAW 5810 co-hosted an Information Session on the latest Trump Executive Orders!
MORE: Click here for the Postdoc Union and Academic Researchers United Visa & Immigration Workshop (Jan. 24, 2018).
“The future of scientific research is on the ballot,” (Daily Cal, Op-Ed by UAW 5810 members Mehmet Doğan and Carmen Falcone).
“The International Scientists Getting Pushed Out,” (NPR’s Short Wave Podcast, September 8, 2020. Featuring UAW 5810 member Mehmet Doğan.)
- “The Pandemic Could Derail a Generation of Young Scientists,” (Wired, August 28, 2020.)
- “A huge victory’ for international students on deportation threats,” (The Stand, July 15, 2020. By UAW 4121 members Sam Sumpter and Dan Hart.)
- “UC union fights back against ICE international student guidelines,” (Daily Cal, July 13, 2020.)
- “How Trump’s visa suspension could affect California businesses, universities,” (Sacramento Bee, June 27, 2020. Featuring UAW 5810 member Mehmet Doğan)
- “Trump to suspend new visas for foreign scholars,” (Nature, June 23, 2020. Featuring UAW 5810 member Mehmet Doğan)
- “On and After Election Day, We Keep Organizing Against Attacks on Immigrants” (By Anke Schennink (President, UAW 5810), David Parsons (President, UAW 4121) and Kavitha Iyengar (President, UAW 2865), Medium.com, Nov. 6, 2018)
- “State of Resistance: Labor Will Double Down in Trump Era” (Capital and Main, 1/25/2017)
- “Letter to the editor: UAW is a strong ally for international students and postdocs” (Columbia Spectator, 12/5/2016)
- “In Immigration Reform Debate, Labor Should Focus on Uniting the 99%” (calitics, 7/29/2013)
- “Labor and Immigrant Groups Can Move Forward Together” (Huffington Post, 2/07/2013)
UAW 5810 Members Protest President Trump’s June 2017 Immigration Order