Press Release

The Risks of the Latest Immigration Suspension

Last week President Trump signed a proclamation suspending the entry of some Chinese graduate students into the United States in order to protect U.S. intellectual property. In a new analysis, AAF’s Director of Immigration and Trade Policy Jacqueline Varas assesses the order’s possible impact and justification. While the order is limited in scope and addresses a real problem, Varas notes, its open-ended nature could be expanded and abused in the future.

Her central points:

  • President Trump’s latest immigration suspension prevents certain Chinese graduate students from seeking an education in the United States if they have current or former ties to Chinese agencies engaged in stealing intellectual property;
  • As it currently stands, the order is extremely limited in scope, only impacting 1 percent of Chinese international students (roughly 3,000 out of 300,000 total individuals);
  • The order may be redundant, as the United States already has safeguards in place to protect U.S. intellectual property at universities – namely export controls and the Visa Mantis Program; and
  • If the order is expanded in the future to prevent a greater number of international students from studying in the United States, it could have harmful impacts on the U.S. economy.

Read the analysis.