We’ve all heard about President-elect Donald Trump’s controversial bans and antics. Deporting immigrants, making cosmetic adjustments to the Muslim travel ban and bulldozing environmental regulations is just another day at the Trump administration. For the students, it's an anxious wait, knowing their time in the US can soon be up.
The rise of Racism:
America was already facing the issue of racism for several decades. Many of Donald Trump’s speeches have fueled racism amongst the Americans and empowered them to be openly racist. The president of the American Federation of Teachers says that Trump’s rhetoric is negatively impacting the students and children of the US in ways never seen before.
A post-election survey conducted by the Southern Law Poverty Centre showed that there is an alarming level of fear and anxiety among the children or color and racial and ethnic tensions in the classroom have aggravated.
There has been an increase in bullying and harassment of students whose races, nationalities and religions have been prime verbal targets of Donald Trump during his campaign trail. Teachers have described Latino students as being very frightened and Muslim students changing the way they dress so that they may not be identified.
Effect of the Trump administration on International Students:
The U.S. is losing international students to Canada, Australia, and Norway for decades. A report released by the American Association of Collegiate Registrars and Admissions Officers stated that 250 colleges and universities have reported a 40% decrease in applications from international students. The decline has been most severely felt in engineering programs.
The US economy will face the greatest setback because international students bring more than $32 billion a year.In January, applications for graduate school also slumped as students from seven predominantly Muslim countries – Iran, Iraq, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – were banned from setting foot on US soil. Border controls becoming more stringent means that students will have to face more rigorous checking and questioning and no 19 years old wants to go through that while being away from home.
Will they be welcomed? Will they be safe? These were some of the concerns voiced by Indian and Chinese students who withdrew their applications. The 32% and 26% decline in Chinese and Indian graduate applications resulted in a loss of $16 billion to the US economy. With the Congress aiming to curb the H-1B work visa, students are left with few opportunities to work or settle in the United States after they graduate. Keeping the entire scenario in mind, why wouldn’t international students prefer countries like Canada, whose prime minister personally welcomes refugees at the airport?
Because the US higher education is considered the Holy Grail, students are still eager and willing to face trials for a better future. But if things do not change for the better, the US higher education system will have to face a difficult road ahead.