Societies raise concerns about visa vetting plan

Dozens of scientific and academic groups, including ASA, CSSA and SSSA, are raising concerns and urging the State Department to provide additional details about a proposed rule that would subject tens of thousands of visa applicants deemed to warrant more stringent scrutiny to additional vetting procedures. In a letter to the State Department and the White House’s Office of Management and Budget, the organizations cautioned that the rule would blunt scientific and academic collaborations, discourage foreign students from seeking to study and participate in research projects in the United States, prompt “existing and potential partners and students” to choose to engage with other countries and damage U.S. competitiveness. Scientific collaborations, including research and academic exchanges, conferences and meetings put on by professional academic and scientific societies are vital to the nation’s academic institutions, innovation and economic growth, the letter said.