Visa Crunch

Biden in lead over Trump in a survey conducted for International Students

In a recent online poll that was conducted, with over 430 participants belonging to different ethnicities and nationalities, Joe Biden got a high 71.1 per cent preference over 28.9 per cent for Donald Trump by these international students. Foreign students obtaining higher education in the United States prefer former Democrat Vice President Biden over Republican Trump as the president of the US. 

This inclination towards Joe Biden from the international students could be because of the recent anti-immigration international policies by the Trump administration, along with an announcement of a new rule that will affect thousands of international students currently in the US as well as prospective students. If the latest order is passed, citizens from several countries won’t get an F-1 student visa four years anymore. The regulation will give a study permit of 2 years to the students. Then students have to get it extended before the end of the visa by again going through the paperwork and paying fees.  Educational institutes have termed this order as not practical because usually, the course timelines do not match with the student visa and that its completion usually takes more time than two years. 

But the president’s outlook towards immigrants can be seen throughout his presidency, for instance, the first decision that Donald Trump took during the initial days of his presidency was to ban nationals of 7 middle eastern countries, including Iran, Libya, Yemen and Syria. Since the ban, the number of international students has almost halved down, especially from the middle east, compared to the figures from 2010. Data provided by the Department of State shows that nearly 645,000 F-1 student visas were issued in the year 2015, but the number has almost halved to 364,204 F-1 student visas issued in the year 2019. Education experts believe that such anti-immigration policies from the administration have dissuaded a lot of prospective students from coming to the US, and the latest order is just catalysing the dislike for Donald Trump from international students.  

A US Department of Commerce report from 2018 states that international students contributed $45 billion to the US economy, and 62% of those students were funded from outside of the States. Association of International Educators NAFSA also reported that international students held more than 458,000 jobs in the year 2018. The number of students coming to the US is projected to drop drastically in the next academic year because of travel bans, COVID-19 and uncertain immigration policies from the government.  

All these points make Joe Biden favoured by the international students, workers or any potential immigrant in comparison to Donald Trump. Recently, presidential candidate Biden put out two new immigration-oriented policies to show contrast in his international policies compared to Trump’s. The first policy is meant to reduce migration to the US from Central America and the second policy is to abolish all the immigration policies Trump has put in place as soon as possible.

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