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APS Files FOIA Request in Response to Revocation of Visas for Chinese Students

By Stephan Addo posted 10-21-2020 11:57


In its ongoing battle to ensure that international students and scholars can study and work in the US, APS has filed a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request with the US State Department, asking for the rationale behind the revocation of more than 1,000 visas impacting Chinese students identified in comments from Department of Homeland Security officials.

The action stems from a May 29, 2020 proclamation from the Trump Administration that blocks Chinese graduate students, post-docs, and visiting researchers affiliated with China’s “military-civil fusion strategy” from entering the US on an F or J visa. ”The premise of that proclamation: China is using students as a means to illegally acquire intellectual property from the US to strengthen its military capability. APS does not have legal standing to challenge the proclamation. So, having exhausted all other means of responding to the proclamation, the only avenue left to the Society was to file the FOIA request. The goal is to gather the information that led to the proclamation, evaluate it, and then depending upon the results, work with universities and industry to mount a legal challenge if necessary.

Read more in the APS News Update.