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Rep. Yvette D. Clarke Applauds New Policy on NYC DOE International Teachers Visa Renewal Process

Today, the New York City Department of Education (NYC DOE) announced that they are changing their policy on visa renewal for international teachers.  In the past, school principals were required to provide letters of support for teacher visa renewals or for the green card application process.  Under the new policy, all determinations for renewals of visas and green card applications will be based on the end of year teacher ratings.  Representative Yvette D. Clarke issued the following statement:

“I would like to commend Commissioner Walcott and the NYC Department of Education on changing their visa renewal policies, effective immediately. I am extremely pleased that they listened to my concerns and that of my constituents. Although I am proud of our public school principles for all they do for our city’s teachers and children, it doesn’t serve our international teachers, not even our students to give such weighted authority over visas to our principles. I strongly believe that visa issues are more appropriately addressed by the DOE. It is my hope that this new policy will be a successful start in addressing some of the many visa issues that our international teachers have been and are continuing to face today.

“I would be remised, however, if I didn’t mention that while the NYC DOE continues to address the way in which they recruit, process and retain international teachers, there is still a dire need to address the pitfalls of our broken immigration system.  The many visa issues, that the NYC government and the NYC immigrant community face, are indicative of a larger immigration issue that affects the entire country.  That is why we need Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

“While I applaud President Obama on regenerating the immigration reform debate; it is up to Congress to take action and pass an immigration bill that protects our boarders, alleviates the backlogs for family-based immigration, increases the number of family visas, reduces lengthy waiting periods for legal immigrants to be reunited with their loved ones, includes the language of the DREAM Act and eliminates discrimination in immigration law against permanent partners and their families.”