Feb. 11, 2004

Contact: Jo Hardesty, Legal Services for Students, (785) 864-5665.

Feb. 12 forum at KU focuses on legal rights of international students

LAWRENCE -- Changes in federal law that have affected international students will be the topic of discussion at the International Students Legal Rights Forum from noon to 1:30 p.m. Thursday, Feb. 12, in Alderson Auditorium of the Kansas Union at the University of Kansas.

Jo Hardesty, director of Legal Services for Students at KU, will provide information regarding the impact of the U.S. Patriot Act on international students. She said the forum will give international students information about their rights as visiting students and how to comply with increased immigration rules and regulations.

"The Patriot Act amended the Family Educational Rights and Privacy Act, thus allowing the government to obtain student information without student consent," she said. "The act has also broadened the Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act, thus allowing government law enforcement to perform enhanced investigative activities regarding terrorism."

Hardesty said that because of these changes in federal law, visa processing time has increased, while the number of visas issued to international students has decreased.

International students are subject to increased visa compliance procedures, which allow the government to monitor their activities while in the United States, said Hardesty.

Changes in federal law have led to heightened security measures, making the process of entering or leaving the United States burdensome and, in some cases, preventing students from re-entering the country, said Hardesty.

The forum is sponsored by the KU Graduate and Professional Association and Legal Services for Students.

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