Donald Trump is wrong, yet again | HT Editorial
Visa restrictions on students will harm the US and offer no benefits to its citizensUpdated: Jul 07, 2020 19:33 IST
The United States (US) Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has announced that foreign students who plan to take only online college courses this coming semester must leave the US. Indian students currently in the US, or who were planning to come in as new students, must take in-person courses. The new immigration regulations will face court challenges. It is conceivable they may never come into force until the semester is over.
As President Donald Trump’s standing in the polls falls, he has become increasingly populist in his responses. On the domestic front, he has played footsie with white supremacists and, increasingly, turned on immigrants. Mr Trump has long denounced illegal migration. Now, he has turned his ire on immigrants who go through the legal process. When he suspended H and L visas, given high joblessness rates, this had some political resonance. Restrictions on students inflict both short and long-term damage to the US economy and offer no benefits to its citizens. Mr Trump may hope that hitting out at students in a country where a college degree defines middle-class status will appeal to his working-class base. So tenuous is the reasoning that one can predict his political fortunes will not improve because of this narrow-minded act.