International Students Beware! by Timothy Bakken


For the past 20 years, student visa holders were not punished harshly for innocent or technical violations of their F-1 status.  For example, an international student who drops below a full course of study by dropping a single class for a semester could be consider in violation of status. Current law has allowed such a student to correct that minor infraction by leaving the U.S. and reentering with his or her valid F-1 student visa. Under the policy, scheduled to take effect August 9, 2018, this same student could be considered to be accruing “unlawful presence”, an immigration law term of art that potentially carries massive consequences such as being barred from returning to the U.S. for 3-10 years. These consequences are obviously wildly out of proportion to students who commit minor infractions of their student status. International students bring brainpower, cultural diversity, energy, and innovative impulses to the United States, not to mention paying tuition and contributing to the economy while in school and afterwards. Over ½ of the American startup companies valued at one billion dollars or more were started by immigrants. 

Read the NFAP policy brief here.

This article summarizes the differences between “unlawful presence” and violation of status and reminds us of another harsh new reality under the current administration’s anti-immigrant agenda.

Timothy R. Bakken

Carry Your Papers by Timothy Bakken

Screen Shot 2018-05-24 at 3.07.22 PM.png

In the age of Trump, it is extremely important that immigrants carry ID and other documentation as applicable (green card, passport with visa, work permit, etc.).  In fact, as crazy as it sounds, in light of recent instances of U.S. citizens being harassed simply for not speaking English, even U.S. citizens may want to consider carrying proof of U.S. citizenship. Read more here

Timothy R. Bakken

Trump is Anti-Immigrant, Illegal AND Legal by Timothy Bakken

Screen Shot 2018-05-17 at 4.33.42 PM.png

Contrary to conventional wisdom, Trump and his supporters do not only object to illegal immigration. As this editorial summarizes so well, the current administration’s policies and proposals in regard to legal immigration processes are intended to slash legal immigration, thus hurting our economy and attacking the long-held principle that family unity is a positive goal. 

Timothy R. Bakken

U.S. immigration policies repel talented foreign students by Timothy Bakken


Ever since Trump took office, international enrollment in U.S. universities has been on the decline. Foreign schools are taking advantage of this fact by targeting students who would normally come to the U.S., and as a result, university enrollment outside of the U.S. is increasing significantly. It’s no coincidence that talented international students are having second thoughts about studying in the U.S. in light of Trump's anti-immigrant rhetoric and policies. Read more here