Trump Attacks International Students. What can be done?

For those of us who had followed the anti-immigrant rhetoric of President Trump since he descended Trump tower’s escalator declaring his candidacy, never doubted that his stance was a racist one.

The pretenses that his administration is against undocumented immigration only are long gone.  In reality, this administration is against all people of color. Besides, Trump has always used the immigration issue as a tool for other purposes. I will explain later.

Who are F-1 Visa Recipients?

The newest victim of Trump’s anti-immigrant crusade is visa F-1 or international students.  This visa allows them to enter the United States as a full-time student at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, academic high school, elementary school, or other academic institution or in a language training program.

In early July, Trump issued an immigration directive that threatens to strip of the F-1 visa to students whose classes are given entirely online for the fall.  Never mind we are in the middle of a global pandemic where the USA has the largest share of cases recorded, and institutions are offering online learning across the board.

As of 2019, the total number of international students is 1,095,299 and they represent roughly 5.5 % of the higher education population.

According to the U.S. Department of Commerce, international students contributed $44.7 billion to the U.S. economy in 2018 and constitute a big source of monetary resources for University campuses.

“I can see the administration will have a steep road explaining how these actions are rational and coherent in the middle of pandemic and further prove a pattern of animus against foreign individuals”.

Attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta.

More importantly, these students hold 25% of the share of Science Technology Engineering and Math degrees in American Universities and are a source of top-notch talent for our country.

Political Motivations

Do not be mistaken. This is viewed as Trump’s political effort to force Universities to open their campuses instead of offering on-line classes. He wants to pretend everything is fine, in spite of the number of COVID19 cases in the USA, to brighten his electoral landscape.

Since international students are vital for the acquisition of top talent for the USA, important institutions such as Harvard and MIT are seeking a temporary restraining order to prevent this action to take place.

Next Steps with the Courts

What are international students supposed to do right now? “Students should not despair and should monitor legal and other actions taken by Universities”, said Attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta.

“These injunctions may be coming in the next weeks, and will allow students to continue with their education while the courts decide on the issue and act”.

“If the courts agree to accept the temporary restraining orders initiated by the Universities against Trump, it will be a good indicator that the courts side on the international student’s favor”.

“I can see the administration will have a steep road explaining how these actions are rational and coherent in the middle of pandemic and further prove a pattern of animus against foreign individuals”.

“In short, stay the course and continue your education”, concluded Attorney Marcos.

Attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta was an H-1B recipient and personally navigated immigration issues. With a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in engineering, he compliments his law degree with STEM expertise to help his clients achieve their personal and professional goals.

Follow him @iplawmarcos in Twitter.

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