...There are Still Foreign Students in the US?

♠ Posted by Emmanuel in , at 12/22/2018 06:50:00 PM

There's an interesting article over at Politico about how Trump's nativist / white supremacist / neo-apartheidist rhetoric and policies have impacted not only illegal but, perhaps more importantly, legal migration. While all of it is certainly worth reading, let's focus on something I've been quite curious about: international students going to the United States to learn. After all, why would you want to go and give money to a country whose leader disparages you for your race, color, creed or "foreignness"? Trump whipping up anti-immigrant fervor against Muslims, Latinos and anyone who isn't a white Trump voter isn't going to enhance your safety against rising hate crimes, either.

So today's "no sh-t, Sherlock" moment is finding that international student visas being issued by the United States are cratering for apparent reasons:
Student visas under Trump have fallen, too. The State Department issued roughly 363,000 F-1 student visas in fiscal year 2018, according to a POLITICO analysis of State Department data. That represents a 23 percent decline from fiscal year 2016. The number of foreign students enrolled for the first time in U.S. colleges and universities declined in 2017 for the second year in a row, according to a report released in November. The report, based on an annual survey by the nonprofit Institute of International Education, calculated that new enrollment dropped nearly 7 percent compared with the previous year.

Leaders of universities and colleges blame Trump’s immigration tactics for the slowdown as the administration has moved to toughen standards for foreign students. “Many of our most successful companies are based on the talents of those international students,” said Janet Napolitano, president of the University of California system and a former Homeland Security secretary to President Barack Obama. “It just seems not wise, to put it mildly, to discourage that kind of international talent from coming to the United States.”
To help make matters worse, the Trump administration has just introduced policies designed to make life even harder for international students:
A new USCIS policy announced in October threatens to saddle international students with an immigration penalty if they remain in the country beyond the term of their visa, a hard-line move to compel students without authorization to depart the country quickly.
So why exactly would any sane prospective student want to go to America? The dollar is very strong, making it an expensive destination. So you're paying top dollar to be scapegoated and racially abused by Trump and people who think like him.

For many who considered studying Stateside, those Trump-alikes are far too many, and personal safety is certainly not guaranteed at this time when they're whipping up fervor against foreigners. This outcome is, regrettably, far too sensible. As the title suggests, the interesting observation may be that there are still any international students at all.