University President Ron Liebowitz, along with the presidents of 42 other Massachusetts colleges and universities, signed a letter addressing the members of the state’s Congressional delegation expressing frustrations with immigration policies that have hampered international students’ ability to study and work in the United States.

The signatories cited delays in the processing of visas for international students and in the program that connects these students with United States’ employers, as well as the increased demand for evidence of documentation from universities wishing to hire international employees, according to a Sept. 18 WBUR article. Students traveling with valid visas have had them revoked as they returned to campus from overseas or upon reentry to Boston Logan Airport.

The letter says that in 2018, over 68,000 international students were enrolled in Massachusetts colleges, contributing more than $3 billion in tuition to the state’s economy, per the WBUR article. International students make up 19.9% of the Brandeis’ undergraduate student body. The recent changes could both jeopardize the educations of the international students and cause damage to the Massachusetts economy, the presidents noted.  

“An environment that thwarts the opportunities for and contributions of these individuals is detrimental to the state’s economy, undermines the educational experiences of all Massachusetts college students, and stifles future innovation and business growth,” the presidents wrote in the letter.

Signatories included representatives from Boston University, Tufts University, Harvard University, Clark University, Northeastern University, Amherst College, Mount Holyoke College, Boston College, Smith College, Babson College and Emerson College.