Immigration Madness

We’re all so focused on Trump’s daily outrages, we might miss the immigration madness being wrought by the xenophobic Stephen Miller. Miller, in a normal administration staffed with senior, deeply experienced and competent people, wouldn’t even likely have a low level staff job. In Trump World, Miller has a free hand to inflict untold economic and psychic hardship on people who would otherwise be great contributors to the United States.

Miller’s latest target is international students, many of whom get advanced degrees here and stay to work. While here those students contribute to the local economy, help support majors in engineering and sciences that are undersubscribed with U.S. students, and become well-versed in the values undergirding democratic life. Here is a quote from the Rochester Beacon, which describes the benefit of foreign students at the University of Rochester, Rochester Institute of Technology, and area colleges.

Jeff Cox, director of International Student Services at RIT, says these students bring a thirst for innovation and creativity. That drive influences programming at universities.

“We wouldn’t even have these advanced degrees if it weren’t for international students,” Cox says.

Roughly two-thirds of international students at RIT are enrolled in graduate programs. The largest share comes from India, followed by China. Cox views these learners as critical to the higher-education system. For instance, it is a way for colleges and universities to build a pipeline for future faculty. Having graduate students also means more opportunities for existing professors to conduct research. Graduate students are often a key component of a professor’s path to tenure.

In a number of graduate science- and engineering-related programs, international students account for the majority of full-time students, research by the National Foundation for American Policy shows. And a recent CNBC All-American Economic Survey found 44 percent of Americans thought even a four-year college degree was not worth the money.

“At many U.S. universities, both majors and graduate programs could not be maintained without international students,” the October 2017 NFAP brief concluded. The same brief noted that foreign students also tend to pay their own way, contributing to an institution’s coffers.

“Frankly, it’s attractive to the higher education industry … to the extent we want this industry … to be financially sound,” Novak says.”

Miller is making the rules for coming, studying, and staying much more difficult and complex. The slightest infraction — like selling a used bike on EBay — can be construed as a violation of a student visa. Earning money on EBay can be called “working”.

Miller is the perpetually angry soul who shouts when invited onto CNN for comment. At one point he was so disruptive on Jake Tapper’s Sunday morning show Tapper ended the interview early, went to commercial break, and had Miller removed by security.

In Trump World, Miller drives immigration policy. What a dreadful thing.

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