Trump Attacks Student Visas. What Can Be Done

Jul 9, 2020

For those of us who had followed the anti-immigrant rhetoric of President Trump, this is not a surprise: He is threatening to take away international students’ visas.

The pretenses that his administration is against undocumented immigration only are long gone.  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 are F-1 visa recipients.  This visa allows international students to enter the United States. The visa permits them to study at an accredited college, university, seminary, conservatory, etc.

In early July 2020, Trump issued an immigration directive that threatens to strip 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.

The Value of International Students

As of 2019, the total number of international students is 1,095,299. 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.

“I can see the administration will have a steep road explaining how these actions are rational and coherent in the middle of a pandemic. Indeed, It further proves 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. They 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. Furthermore, He wants to pretend everything is fine, in spite of the number of COVID19 cases in the USA. It is an effort to brighten his electoral landscape.

Predictably, Harvard, MIT, and other universities 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 the Universities”, said Attorney Marcos E. Garciaacosta.

“Undoubtedly, 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 in the middle of a pandemic. Finally, it further proves 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 the immigration system. With a bachelor’s and a master’s degree in engineering, he compliments his law degree with STEM expertise. Marcos helps his clients achieve their personal and professional goals.

Follow him @iplawmarcos in Twitter.

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