The following is a statement from Association of American Universities President Barbara R. Snyder about the Russian Federation’s war on Ukraine and the letter that she and other American higher education leaders sent today to the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security urging officials to do everything they can to accommodate the special needs of Ukrainian students and scholars studying and working in the United States.
We condemn the unprovoked Russian attack on Ukraine’s people and sovereignty not only as a destabilizing and dangerous breach of international law, but also because it has suddenly placed thousands of Ukrainian citizens living and working around the world in incredibly difficult positions. These include thousands of Ukrainian students and researchers who are temporarily in the United States. Among them are students, researchers, and visiting professors at AAU member universities. Today, I joined my colleagues in the higher-education community in a clear call to Secretary of State Antony Blinken and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas to provide swift action to offer these students and scholars whatever accommodations they need – including temporary exceptions to visa rules – while their home country is thrust into war. Their anguish and uncertainty over the fate of their homeland and loved ones should not be compounded by personal uncertainty about whether they will be able to safely and legally remain in the United States until it is safe to return to Ukraine.
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