Enrollment of Foreign College Students Drops in Trump's America

Enrollment of Foreign College Students Drops in Trump's America

The United States used to be admired as a progressive nation shaped and defined by the determined efforts of brilliant immigrants seeking their personal slice of the “American Dream.” Across the country, young children in schools are taught about famous and renown immigrants, such as Alexander Hamilton, Albert Einstein, Joseph Pulitzer, Nikola Tesla, and Andrew Carnegie. In fact, according to John F. Kennedy, “Every American who has ever lived, with the exception of one group, was either an immigrant himself or a descendent of immigrants.”

Unfortunately, since 2016, the Trump Administration has been persistently enacting laws and regulations that are detrimentally impacting the lives of undocumented immigrants and naturalized citizens. President Trump’s controversial anti-immigration platform is not only putting human lives in danger, it’s also negatively influencing how the rest of the world views the United States as a world leader.

Quite frankly, people from other countries are scared to visit or live in the United States. With so many unfavorable restrictions and regulations, foreigners are terrified that they will be arrested or mistreated by the American legal system. This has naturally affected the enrollment rate of foreign college students for the last two years. According to the 2018 Open Doors Report on International Educational Exchange, the number of foreign students enrolling in American colleges dropped 7% in 2017.

In “Enrollment of New Foreign Students at U.S. Colleges Slows Again in Trump Era,” Politico writer Benjamin Wermund explains that American colleges are blaming President Trump’s anti-immigration rhetoric for the current enrollment situation. Wermund notes that colleges in other countries are aggressively recruiting these students who are concerned about the political environment in the United States. Phil Honeywood, CEO of the international education association in Australia, told Politico that, “We don’t actually need to be negative about the American academy, as President Trump is doing more damage to ‘Brand America’ on his own than any competitor country every could.”

Unfortunately, this decrease in student enrollment poses a serious risk to the U.S. economy. According to a report released by NASFA: Association of International Educators, “NAFSA’s latest analysis finds that the 1,094,792 international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $39 billion and supported more than 455,000 jobs to the U.S. economy during the 2017-2018 academic year.” If the college enrollment rate continues to decline, our economy is naturally going to suffer.

This is a dangerous reality for a nation built by the dreams and ideals of immigrants. Not only is America’s political presence and social environment suffering due to this administration’s anti-immigration policies, we are also losing brilliant minds and the breadth of their potential to other countries.

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