Trump’s Plan to Ban Chinese Students Shows He’s Ignorant About Immigration, World Economy

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President Donald Trump, first lady Melania Trump and Chinese President Xi Jinping

resident Donald Trump’s latest attempt to make America white again is a proposed ban on Chinese students. During discussions over Trump’s trade war with China, Jewish white supremacist Stephen Miller suggested halting Chinese student visas. However, Terry Branstad, ambassador to China, told the president that many colleges rely on Chinese students fees which are often more than double what American students pay. “Foreign student tuition revenue is used to subsidize the cost of enrolling additional domestic students,” said economist Kevin Shih in Forbes.

This decision is symptomatic of Trump’s haphazard management style. He doesn’t read or study anything, he just comes up with ideas on the fly. If Trump had actually read one of his briefings, he would also realize that much of America’s brain power, especially in the scientific research area, comes from immigrants.

I saw this up close and personal with my family. My brother got a master’s degree in biochemistry and said his classes were mainly full of Chinese students. My father was also recruited from Nigeria to Oklahoma State University as a research professor. It’s a dirty little secret in academia, but most professors would rather recruit students from China to do research because they work like dogs and have no social life. Additionally, few American-born students want to go into scientific research and they also like their Saturday nights free.

Further proof of this is seen at the high school level. A large number of the students on Academic All-Star teams are either foreign-born or the children of immigrants.

It is evident from his comments that Trump knows nothing about immigration. This is not surprising, according to longtime Trump biographer David Cay Johnston. Johnson said Trump does know anything at all. And he doesn’t bother to do any research either. That’s why he managed to lose money in the casino business, an industry where people line up and literally give you money!

Unfortunately, Trump’s white nationalism and general hostility to immigrants is making many people steer away from America. Many foreign students decided to stop coming to America after the post-9/11 crackdowns. But I don’t blame them for not wanting to come to America under the current climate. According to the Department of Homeland Security, “The number of international students enrolled at the graduate level in science and engineering fell by 14,730, or 6%, between 2016 and 2017, which represented about half of the overall drop in international students.”

Some international students opted to go to Canada, Britain and Australia, which all have outstanding college systems. Also, the changing nature of the world’s economy has made some students decide to stay home and create businesses in their homelands. Twenty years ago, Indian engineers flocked to Silicon Valley to share their brain power, but now because of tighter immigration standards and hostility towards brown people, many of them are staying home.

As a result, India now has its own thriving Silicon Valley, Bangalore. Also, the growth of high-speed Internet means many Indian techies can still do business with Americans online. According to the Times of India, the country’s e-commerce field is growing at 19 percent per year. And the country is predicted to have $1 trillion digital economy within the next three years.

But in Trump’s narrow worldview, countries with brown and black people are “sh*thole countries,” full of natives who live in mud huts. He doesn’t understand that some of those countries also have great education systems that could harbor future geniuses. And because of his shortsightedness, America is going to lose out.

“In 2015, 81 percent of the full-time graduate students enrolled at U.S. universities in electrical engineering and 79% in computer science were international students, according to the National Science Foundation,” said Stuart Anderson, a Forbes contributor, who writes about globalization. “If U.S. companies can’t hire these talented individuals in the U.S., then they will hire them outside the United States (or their competitors will) and take complementary jobs that U.S. workers could have filled along with them.”

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Manny Otiko writes about race, politics and sports. He has been published in Salon and LA Weekly. Follow him on Twitter @mannyotiko.

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