Home > Uncategorized > Revisiting Predictions on President Trump’s Impact on Public Education III: Immigration

Revisiting Predictions on President Trump’s Impact on Public Education III: Immigration

A year ago I wrote several posts on Donald Trump’s policies and where I saw them leading us.  Today I take a look at how Mr. Trump’s stand on immigration is playing out as compared to predictions I offered in 2016… and I am not happy to report that my predictions are coming true.

When Mr. Trump was elected, many in our country were stunned, none more that the thousands of immigrants who attend schools. In a post titled “Fearful Immigrant Children and Parents; Troubled Teachers and Administrators” I described how the Denver Public Schools were attempting to assuage the fears of immigrant parents through a series of FAQs, one of which read as follows:

Q: What immediate impact will the election have on me or my family if we do not have lawful immigration status?

A: There will be no changes to the immigration laws before the incoming president takes office in January 2017. And even then, the immigration laws are passed by the legislature and there is no way to know with certainty if the legislature will make any changes to the immigration laws.

While it is true that “immigration laws are passed by the legislature“, Mr. Trump has made us all aware of the power of the Executive Order, in some cases pushing that power to the limit in terms of dealing with immigration. While courts have stymied many of his executive orders dealing with immigration, he has recently declared that Haitian and Nicaraguan refugees from hurricanes must return to their homelands by 2019, has rescinded President Obama’s executive order to allow those whose parents immigrated illegally to remain in the country, and has attempted to deny immigration status to refugees from several predominantly Muslim countries. The result is that thousands of children are wondering if they will be able to stay in school in our country of if their parents will remain in the country.

I also blogged about the forecasted impact Mr. Trump’s election might have on prospective international students, concurring with the belief that some colleges and private schools would experience enrollment declines since international students might decide to stay away from our country. As this recent Washington Post article indicates, that is exactly what has transpired. According to a recent report from Open Door, a group that tracks the enrollment of international students, there has been a decline in interest among those students. While Allan E. Goodman, the institute’s president and chief executive, is hesitant to identify a “Trump Effect”, it is difficult to avoid that conclusion given these findings:

…the Open Doors report found new foreign enrollment fell nearly 10,000 students in fall 2016, to about 291,000. The 3 percent drop was the first in the six years the report has published that statistic. 

Separately, the institute teamed with 10 education groups on a snapshot survey of foreign enrollment this fall. About 500 schools responded, reporting an average decrease of 7 percent of new international students. That figure offers a preliminary and partial view. New foreign enrollment was up at many schools and down at others.

“I need to see another year of data,” Goodman said, to know what effect, if any, Trump has had.

The snapshot survey found colleges cite a mix of factors for this year’s decline, “including competition from other countries, the cost of U.S. higher education, visa delays or denials and an uncertain U.S. social and political climate.” Half of schools responding to the survey said they are worried about perceptions of the United States among international students who are considering enrolling next year.

Given the xenophobic tweets and executive orders issued by our President on behalf of the voters who elected him, it is not hard to understand why “Half of schools responding to the survey said they are worried about perceptions of the United States among international students who are considering enrolling next year”. And given the timid response to Mr. Trump’s xenophobic stances by the Democratic Party, it IS hard to see how we can change that perception. Our country will lose “bigly” if we don’t welcome those who are fleeing war zones we created and those who are seeking a better life.

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