International students ponder effects of immigration ban

Joshua Meribole-Staff Writer

Courts in the United States recently revised Trump’s executive order that seeks to ban immigrants, student visa holders and green card holders from the countries of Iraq, Iran, Syria, Yemen, Sudan, Somalia and Libya from entering the States. As of right now, the courts have allowed people with valid visas back into the United States.

By blocking citizens from seven different countries, and threatening to build a wall, Trump and his agenda are being met with hostility from several Dordt international students.

“I feel uncertainty,” Gala Campos, a Mexican psychology major, said. “What happens if he [Donald Trump] bans Mexicans from coming to the United States?”

Yet not all students feel the same level of fear or anticipation.

“I don’t feel threatened by Trump’s presidency,” Jose said. “I feel like he could decrease some advantages that we have like the OPT.”

When an international student is done at Dordt, they have the opportunity to use their OPT – Optional Practical Training – to work as a student in the U.S. in their field of study for one year. STEM students can extend this visa to three years. Also, student and non-immigrants with specialized training can request for an H1B visa.

Hostility with President Trump’s policies comes from his statement regarding H1B visas – cards that allow people from different countries with specialized skills, such as in medicine or engineering – to work in the United States for a limited amount of time. This visa is provided by the employer and is used by many technological companies. The U.S. government’s fiscal cap of these visas lands at 65,000. There has been speculation that President Trump’s administration would reduce this cap; however, no official statement has yet been made.

For junior accounting and business: finance major Tony Zou, President Trump’s plan may pose a threat to his future.

“There is no predictability with him,” Zou said. “I am looking for a job after college in the U.S.”

Because of Trump’s claims that businesses should favor American citizens, Zou believes that it will be harder for him to find a job in the United States.

The reason why immigrants are hired is because Americans are not willing to do the back-breaking, low-paying jobs that are issued by some employers, Zou went on to explain.

“Employers have say,” Zou said.

For Dordt College, the effect of President Trump’s ban – of which certain sections have been reversed by lower courts in the U.S. – will likely not reduce the number of international students who choose to attend this institution. However, according to Adam Adams, Director for Global Education, President Trump’s hostility to international students could give other countries, such as England, Germany, Canada, etc., the opportunity to gain more international students who choose these nations over the United States.

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