Indian student enrollment in U.S. universities down due to Trump

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U.S. President Donald Trump talks about banning devices that can be attached to semiautomatic guns to make them automatic, during a Public Safety Medal of Valor Awards Ceremony at the White House in Washington, U.S., February 20, 2018. REUTERS/Leah Millis

Due to the harsh immigration laws that President Donald Trump’s administration has been putting into force, the number of Indian students enrolling for graduate-level programs in computer science and engineering in the U.S. has declined by 21 percent or about 18,590 people in 2017 compared to the previous year, according to a recent report by the National Foundation for American Policy (NFAP).

In addition, the overall number of undergraduate international students has fallen 4 percent in 2017.

“Indian graduate students completing degrees in science and engineering at American universities are a major source of talent for American companies,” the report stated, adding that if this trend continues, it could have a negative impact on students, universities, companies and the American economy.

“The US government policy, such as the Trump administration’s announced plans to restrict the ability of international students to work after graduation, could accelerate any negative trends,” the report continued.

According to Quartz India, international students make up a large population of the students at most American universities, especially in tech fields.

“At many US universities, both majors and graduate programs could not be maintained without international students,” the NFAP stated in a report dated October 2017.

The Trump administration’s shield against immigration has become a major concern for Indian students and professionals, while it has not restricted Indians from getting a U.S. visa, it has still created a problem as the small steps which need to be taken has made the process hard for immigrant workers.

“For instance, it made the process of applying for the much sought-after H-1B visas far more stringent and is reworking the policy of issuing work permits to the spouses of H-1B visa-holders employed in the U.S.,” Quartz India said.

Richard Burke, the CEO of Envoy, a global immigration management platform for employers, told Quartz India that “the U.S. needs to collectively acknowledge the value of highly-educated foreign nationals and provide for them an environment in which they and their families can thrive, while simultaneously avoiding the abuses that have led to negative public opinion in this area.”

Many Indians have even given up their dreams for a high-paying job in the U.S. and have stayed in India over the last year.

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