Chinese Student Ban

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Can F1 and J1 students from China come to the United States? Hi, I’m Jim Hacking, immigration lawyer practicing law throughout the United States at our office here in St. Louis, Missouri.

President Donald J. Trump just signed an executive order the other day that will temporarily ban international students from China, from the people’s Republic of China, so not Taiwan, but China, who are coming to the United States to obtain master’s degrees and who’ve worked in the military or civil military industries back in China.

So the president, again, playing to his base again, trying to gin up anti-immigrant sentiment has listened to the harsh Members Of Congress, like Tom Cotton, who are claiming that international students are coming from China and stealing our technology. And while certainly there have been instances of that, the president has issued a new executive order, which is interesting when you actually read it.

So, the president and hard line Republicans are taking this position that Chinese students are coming here and stealing corporate and government secrets and sending those back to China.

And so what the president’s order did is it banned graduate students from coming to do research or on an F1 visa or on a J1 visa—those are the two main student visas to the United States—and prohibited them from coming to the United States temporarily.

This is another example of the president trying to do through administrative means what he can’t do legislatively. He hasn’t been able to get any support in Congress for all of his harsh anti-immigrant rhetoric, so he’s trying to do it little by little with these executive orders.

The executive orders also play well to his base. It lets them run stories on Fox news for a couple of weeks that, “Oh, we’re going to ban those Chinese students.”

And of course, the president’s in a pissing match with the Chinese government. And so, this is another one of his attempts to try to enforce foreign policy at the harm of international students.

So instead of there being an individualized assessment as to whether someone is going to come to the United States to engage in this behavior, the president has just taken a whole class of people, like he has before, and said that the US government, the State Department will not be issuing visas.

So, one thing that’s interesting is that the president did not include undergraduate students, so these executive orders that they write out on these paper napkins in the White House bar really don’t make a lot of sense.

And, “I’m just banning graduate students,” as opposed to undergraduate students doesn’t seem to make a whole lot of sense. The other thing to think about, and maybe this is why he didn’t include undergraduate students, is that undergraduate students pay full tuition rate and I guess graduate students do too.

But a lot of these universities around the country depend on international students and the higher tuition that they pay to help subsidize US students.

So, universities have been feeling a real pinch from the president’s just overall anti-immigrant approach because less international students are willing to come here.

Plus, the State Department is denying visas to people who are qualified and who have a university that wants to accept them, so these universities are already suffering. And now, without graduate students coming, they’ll suffer a little bit more.

But it’s interesting that they did not include undergraduate students.

So, we will keep you posted. We will keep an eye on this executive order like we do all of the president’s immigration antics.

If you have questions about this executive order about whether you’re going to be able to come to the United States, give us a call at 314-961-8200. You can email us at info@hackinglawpractice.com.

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Thanks a lot, have a great day.

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