Chancellor Douglas A. Girod M.D.
Sunday, April 26, 2020, 3:30 p.m.
KU Lawrence All Staff Faculty and Affiliates,All KU Lawrence and Edwards Students

Sent on behalf of Chancellor Douglas A. girod, Provost and Executive Vice Chancellor Barbara A. Bichelmeyer, and KU Medical Center Executive Vice Chancellor Dr. Rob Simari.

Dear faculty, staff, and students

Several of you have asked questions regarding President Trump’s recent executive order placing additional limits on immigration to the United States and its potential effect on the University of Kansas, the Medical Center and our people.

Before summarizing the proclamation’s impact, we first want to acknowledge the great concern voiced by many in our community. Like all comprehensive research universities and academic health care centers in this country, we are fortunate to have exceptional talent from around the world. Our international students and employees are an integral part of our teaching, research and service mission, and they make remarkable contributions to KU and KUMC, their professions, the State of Kansas and the world. We are incredibly grateful for all of those who are working on the frontlines providing health care, as well as those who are researching scientific, technical and medical solutions to fight COVID-19 and to save lives, regardless of nationality, in the United States and around the globe.

As an institution, we must recognize the important work immigrants contribute to American society during times of calm, and especially now during this difficult pandemic. According to the Migration Policy Institute, 17% of all healthcare workers, including 29% of all physicians in the United States are foreign born, The National Science Foundation reports that 30% of all scientists and engineers employed in the U.S. are immigrants. The work of these individuals is critical in facing this pandemic. Here at KU and the Medical Center, they are woven into the fabric of our Jayhawk community, contributing in numerous ways such as developing vaccines and designing personal protective equipment, as well as delivering classroom instruction in nearly all academic departments.

KU and International Support Services on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses and the Office of International Programs serving the Medical Center remain available to support our international employees and students and their immigration needs during this time.

About the Executive Order

The executive order issued on April 22, 2020, suspends for 60 days (June 22) green card applications for individuals coming to the United States from abroad. The order exempts a broad range of individuals, including spouses and minor children of U.S. citizens, healthcare workers, and medical researchers conducting COVID-19 related research, all of whom can still apply for permanent resident status during this 60-day period.

The order does not:

  • affect KU or KUMC’s ability to support, prepare and file sponsored permanent residency cases (Labor Certifications and I-140s) for employees who have institutional commitments,
  • apply to those individuals already in the United States adjusting their immigration status to permanent resident (I-485), or
  • affect KU or the Medical Center’s ability to continue to prepare and file nonimmigrant applications on behalf of employees, such as H-1B petitions (I-129) for foreign workers.

In the coming weeks we may see additional proposals made regarding nonimmigrant programs as the proclamation directs certain government agencies to provide guidance to the president to stimulate the U.S. economy and prioritize U.S. workers. Many policy changes require government agencies to follow formal processes, and KU and the Medical Center will continue to monitor evolving circumstances and provide updates as needed.

Support

The members of KU and KUMC’s international community make vast contributions to our campus environment. As faculty, staff, postdocs, residents graduate assistants and students, they enrich our institution and enhance our institution’s reputation of scholarly, research and health care excellence. It is important that each of us offer support where we can. If you or someone you interact with has questions on this topic, please reach out to International Support Services, iss@ku.edu, on the Lawrence and Edwards campuses, and the Office of International Programs at KUMC. If you are aware of instances of discrimination or harassment contact the Office of Institutional Opportunity & Access, ioa@ku.edu. Human Resource Management also provides updates for all international employees through its FAQ page.

Respectfully,

Doug, Barbara and Rob

Douglas A. Girod
Chancellor

Barbara A. Bichelmeyer
Provost & Executive Vice Chancellor

Dr. Rob Simari
KU Medical Center Executive Vice Chancellor