Last Updated: October 4, 2020, 1:48 pm

OPINION | International student policy should be passed

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The potential international student policy change announced by President Donald Trump’s administration Sept. 25 should be put into place for the safety of U.S. citizens.

This policy is proposed to prevent students from being overlooked and bringing information from the U.S. to their home country. Students will be limited to four-year or two-year degrees depending on where they’re from unless they apply for an extension.

According to the proposed policy, this would help prevent illegal immigration and combat terrorism in the U.S. going forward.

One reason President Trump announced this policy was because two students and a professor were involved in a plan to steal information from U.S. citizens.

Two researchers from China attended Harvard and worked with a professor who was the head investigator at the Lieber Research Group. The professor and two students were secretly working with the Chinese government. Investigators learned he had received over $1 million from China. One of the students, Zaosong Zheng, was caught carrying lab samples while heading back to China.

Both students were involved with China’s Thousand Talents Plan, which operates with the goal to send people overseas, make bargains, and steal information such as technology and talent.

In another article, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said, “China’s Thousand Talents Plan is one of the most prominent Chinese Talent recruitment plans that are designed to attract, recruit, and cultivate high-level scientific talent in furtherance of China’s scientific development.”

If any of those plans came to fruition, the safety of citizens and the country would be at risk. While not all international students are doing this, it could happen again. Placing this policy would prevent any similar situation from happening because the longer it takes to enter the country, the more time the U.S. has to make sure students are coming for the right reasons.

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Since 2016, visas have become more expensive. If this bill is approved, the cost of renewing visas could rise again. This is only to protect the country by making sure international students who come here really want an education and attempting to deter those who don’t.

I know a lot of people from other countries move to the U.S. for a better education or to experience freedom. Unfortunately, there are things students have to give up to enter the U.S., one of which is money.

People from other countries who want to get an education in the U.S. will have to ask themselves: “Is it worth it the money and time? If Trump goes through with this law, is he doing it because he looks at me as unequal or because he is protecting his country?”

This policy could be passed or turned down depending on who wins the next presidential debate. If this bill goes through, entering the U.S. will be more difficult for students; however, it is not because Trump is racist, it is to make sure international students are here for the right reasons.

The policy is open for public comment until Oct. 25. People can leave comments by going to Regulations.gov and reading the instructions under public participation or write a handwritten letter and email it to one of the addresses listed.

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