Krystle Weiss

Grant Type

Dissertation Fieldwork Grant

Institutional Affiliation

Temple U.

Grant number

Gr. 9668

Approve Date

April 18, 2018

Project Title

Weiss, Krystle E., Temple U., Philadelphia, PA - To aid research on 'Admissions: International Students, Higher Education, and Immigration Governance in the United States,' supervised by Dr. Damien Stankiewicz

Preliminary abstract: The United States has approached immigration as a nation-building strategy, encouraging certain kinds of immigration and deauthorizing others (Ngai 2004; Zolberg 2006), evidenced most recently by the Travel Ban (EO 13769), and, as this research hypothesizes, Optional Practical Training (OPT). Through OPT, international students can apply for an H-1B skilled-worker visa, which permits immigrant intent, paving a path to legal permanent residence and ultimately naturalization. The nonimmigrant to immigrant adjustment process constitutes a complex legal rite of passage through which nonimmigrants can be made into immigrants. Through long-term ethnography, interviews, and interpretative policy analysis, I propose to trace these local processes of immigration adjustment and subjectivity formation — that is, how non-state actors administer and enact local policies and narratives that render legal, national citizenship accessible to individuals otherwise prohibited from immigrating. Examination of the various limen that separate student from citizen sheds light on an understudied process of noncitizen incorporation, regimes of migration policy work that straddle federal governance and institutions of higher education, and shifts in migrant labor markets.