International students in the crosshairs

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.