Photo by Ashleigh Bunch

With the threat of a newly-introduced H-1B Visa bill in the U.S. House of Representatives along with President Donald Trump’s ban on immigration from seven Muslim countries, there are many reasons for a variety of international students at Tech to be worried right at this time.

Many of the international students who choose to attend Tech come with the expectation that they will then be able to obtain a job in America. If the new bill is passed, the salary threshold for H-1B Visas will be raised to a minimum of $130,000 from the current $60,000. Obviously, this would have a profound impact on the number of students from foreign countries that would ever be able to work in the U.S. and Tech would most definitely suffer for it.

International students comprise 42 percent of the total graduate population at Tech. Losing a significant number of them to attrition with no replacement due to new H-1B rules would cause tremendous damage to Tech’s research capabilities. International graduate students have made some of Tech’s most notable achievements in research in recent years, including the contributions to gravitational waves.

Even though the Institute is most certainly bolstered in standing by its robust academic credentials, many students simply will not be willing to travel overseas to the U.S. if they will not be allowed a job here afterwards.

If purely for the economic reasons, Tech’s administration should not stand idly by and watch potentially millions in future research grants as well as reputation for diversity go down the drain. It needs to be made clear in no uncertain terms by President Peterson as well as other higher ups at Tech that the Institute supports the challenges faced by international students and has their back unequivocally.

The Consensus Opinion reflects the majority opinion of the Editorial Board of the Technique, but not necessarily the opinions of individual editors.

  • Hard Little Machine

    Yes of course science in America will implode because of all the Somalian brain surgeons now locked out.

    • disqus_V01NOPocGY

      Did you read the article? It’s not about the recent executive order on travel restrictions but about a new bill about H1-B visas. Foreign students make up most of the graduate student population in almost all US universities. If this bill gets through, no company will be able to hire fresh grads at the proposed salaries and the cost of business will go up tremendously. Companies will not be able to hire at these salaries.

      If foreign students cannot work in the US, they will not spend outrageous sums of money on fees to come study here and the universities will lose a lot of money. The situation is already bad for American students and now it will get worse because the universities have to make up for the fees lost by charging more for American students.

  • When you say Budweiser…!

    I mean, I agree with you. High-skill immigrants are the ones that help the US economy remain dynamic, so we should enforce immigration laws slowing low-skilled immigration so we have more room to assimilate large numbers of high-skill immigrants as full members of American society. The proposal plays more to short-term supply and demand (lower supply of foreign workers–>higher wages and more demand for American workers), but may backfire in the end.

    We’re really seeing the consensus about immigration weakening, and it’s not hard to see why. I myself worry that immigration is fracturing American society as people consider themselves first ___ and only second or third American. Countries with multiple languages (e.g., Spain, Belgium, Canada) are always fighting separatist forces, and multicultural societies tend eventually to become multiconflictual. High-skill immigration is good for America, but its economic benefits should not outweigh its social repercussions. Social assimilation is extremely important to make immigration beneficial to all of society and to make all of society accessible to immigrants.