Trump is already scaring and discouraging students from abroad.
Reviewed By: Garfield Bailey
In the article “What Will Happen to International Students Under President Trump,” dated November 10, 2016, author Elizabeth Redden postulates that the election of Donald Trump to the presidency of the U.S.A. has left some in higher education worried that international students could be deterred or restricted from studying in the U.S. It also raised concerns that students who came to the U.S. illegally as children and received temporary relief from deportations as well as work authorization under President Obama’s Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals, or DACA, program could be newly vulnerable. The writer believes that the stance taken by Mr. Trump have possible implications for international students on F-1 Visas and those enrolled in the DACA program. He laid out plans for ideological screening and what he called extreme vetting of visa applicants.
The article also points out that one of the core values of international education is about celebrating diversity and learning from differences. Rahul Choudaha, the co-founder of Inter Edge.org, an international student services company opined that Trump’s viewpoints are insular and not in line with the values of international education. Trump called for the elimination of the exchange visa program through which foreign youth in higher education work in the U.S. Universities have large international enrollment, and this according to Redden would be detrimental to higher educational institution as they will face difficulty recruiting international students. She is making the comparison of the confusion in the ‘Br-exit’ situation to what will happen in higher education under President Trump. The article also points out that international students would be less interested to come to the U.S. to study under a Trump’s presidency. This is as a result of Trump’s racist, narcissist and sexist remarks passed during the campaigning of the US Presidency election.
International students were shocked by Donald Trump’s rise to power, but are the native Americans really surprised…. they are concerned about their volatile future in Trump’s America. Experts say higher education officials across the U.S. should consider the implications of a trump presidency, which could significantly affect their viability as they plan global recruitment strategies. According to Redden, these fears ring true at many universities with up to forty-five percent of their population being international students. Foreign students are valuable resources-both academically and financially for the universities. It is likely that the future recruitment policies will start looking inward and slow down international educational education exchanges and mobility.
Implications for Jamaica
Jamaican students and universities are not immune to president Trump’s proposal and will be impacted significantly in various ways. Many Jamaican students are awarded scholarships annually to pursue higher education in the U.S. With the roll back of the F-1 Visas, students studying in the U.S. would be sent home and others would not be given the opportunity to study in the country. If Trump makes good on his promise to cancel the controversial Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, which gives thousands of young, undocumented immigrants temporary relief from deportation, students abroad could be barred from re-entering the country. The H-1B is a non-immigrant visa in the United States under the Immigration and Nationality Act. It allows U.S. employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations.(From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia).
Jamaican students studying overseas
The UWI, VTDI and other local universities and colleges have formal and informal exchange agreements with universities the USA to allow its students to study and work in their countries. UWI Study Abroad Fellowship Scheme: intended to promote UWI study abroad by facilitating three types of student mobility: between the UWI and selected Caribbean and Latin American universities; and between UWI and those American and Commonwealth universities with which UWI has entered cooperative agreements.
Career advancement is one of the prime motivations for international students to study in the U.S. Trump’s anti-immigrant stance may create a more rigorous visa and immigration policies that may make it even more difficult for international students (including Jamaicans) to go to the U.S. and find internship and job opportunities. The J-1 Visa provides countless opportunities for international candidates looking to travel and gain experience in the United States. According to the Jamaica Observer, The multifaceted programs enable foreign nationals to go to the U.S. to teach, study, conduct research, demonstrate special skills or receive on the job training for periods ranging from three weeks to four months (March 24, 2010). It went further to share that approximately 4000 Jamaican students traveled to the U.S. to work on the summer program in 2009.
Local universities would be impacted in a significant way as a lot of these students enrolled in local universities who travel to the U.S. annually on their temporary visas to perform summer jobs, do it to ensure that their tuition is paid for the new school year. With the removal of this opportunity to these students in higher education many of our local universities would see their enrollment reduced drastically and their financial intake from tuition fees also being negatively impacted.
Troy Fuller of Mico was very passionate with his view on the current situation mentioned in the Jamaica Observer (Career and Education Section, Blog post, dated November 9, 2016). He quoted:
Of course it’s going to have an impact on Jamaica negatively, because of the speeches that he has been making re immigration. One of the many things that I heard him say is that he wants to stem immigration. Work and travel, H-2B, and all those programs that we know persons rely on to go overseas legally will be affected. So, for example, as a student who would normally rely on work and travel, say every summer, if he cuts out that program then I am affected. This summer when I went, the money that I made is what I am using now at school.
There are 13 categories of J-1 Visa that allows the private-sector to provide foreign nationals with opportunities to participate in educational and cultural programs in the U.S and then return home. The educational and cultural exchanges are paramount to the cooperation between these universities for the wholesome development of their students. For example, the Trainee category is for professionals with a degree, professional certificate, or relevant work experience to receive training in U.S. business practices through a structured and guided work-based program. The J-1 Visa also provides opportunities for foreign nationals to gain invaluable experiences. With the hard stance taken by president Trump towards minor races in the U.S., there is going to be severe hardship awaiting people of minority races.
Examples of Severe Economic Hardship:
The change in policy would result in severe economic hardship for local universities and college students caused by unforeseen circumstances beyond the student’s control. These circumstances may include: loss of financial aid, inordinate increases in tuition and/or living costs, unexpected changes in the financial condition of the student’s source of support medical bills or other substantial and unexpected expenses.
The election of Donald Trump to the office of presidency has certainly left many of the stakeholders in higher education worried that international students could be severely affected. If the policy direction which has been proposed should come to fruition it would produce a ripple effect in higher education throughout the world.
J1 Work And Travel Overview. Retrieved from http://employmentjamaica.com/jobseekers/j1-program/j1-work-and-travel-program.html
Benefits of the J-1 Visa Exchange Visitor Program. Retrieved from https://www.globalminnesota.org/event/benefits-j-1-visa-exchange-visitor-program/
(The Jamaica Observer Career & Education). Trump scares me – Students react to billionaire’s election win (Retrieved Sunday, November 13,2016) http://jam.live.mediaspanonline.com/magazines/career/
Loss of International Students? https://www.insidehighered.com/news/2016/11/10/implications-trumps-presidential-victory-international-and-undocumented-students
What Will Happen to International Students Under President Trump?Retrieved from http://www.slate.com/articles/life/inside_higher_ed/2016/11/international_students_are_bracing_for_a_trump_presidency.html