The University of California Acts to Protect International Students
UC System President Janet Napolitano announced that the UC is suing the Trump Administration action threatening to deport international students with F-1 or M-1 visas unless they take at least one in-person class. The basis is that it is unjustified, arbitrary, and too close to the start of the school year. This is the same basis that they won a delay in the cancellation of the DACA program by the Administration. UC President Napolitano was the Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security under President Obama. She founded the DACA program in 2012. We should note that in August, former UC Irvine Chancellor (2005-2014) Michael Drake will be replacing Napolitano as UC President. He is finishing up as President of Ohio State University, where he served since 2014.
In her announcement, she pointed out that in 2019-2020, there were 27,205 international students in an undergraduate class of 226,125 university wide, or 12.0%. These students pay an extra tuition of about $29,000 a year, compared to the $13,000 in-state tuition. Their contribution to UC funding is then $790 million. They do not take any seats from in-state students. Their extra funds support California students and hire more faculty for the University. Of the UC graduate students, 13,995 out of 58,941 or 24% are international students. Those that complete their degrees do research and help bring in federal funds to the UC, and contribute to the intellectual and technological base of California and the world. Here is a link to the UC press release by President Napolitano.
The 1.1 million international students in the US contribute $41 billion to their universities. California students also benefit from interactions with and connections to international students. Some students stay an extra time in the US and contribute to our industries.
President Napolitano described the Visa order as “capricious and illegal”. “It is illegal, unnecessary, and callous” she says. 180 universities have filed under the Harvard and MIT suit. She says the “UC will fight this blatant disregard for the law and public health sigh all the legal means at our disposal”.
Since the universities start up in a month or so, it calls for a lower court to put an injunction of this very soon. In the meantime, universities are arranging for some classes for in-person enrollment of international students. While this country is used to some 40,000 gun deaths a year, this is unknown in foreign countries. Asian countries wear masks just to combat the flu. They are not used to the blatant Coronavirus risks that the Trump Administration is forcing on them, and no doubt sense that they are not welcome by the administration. At the same time, Trump claims he is making an immigration policy concentrating on industrial value and technological expertise.
About half of the international students are in STEM fields. The most popular majors are: Engineering, 233,000; Business and Management, 196,000; Math and Computer Science, 186,000; Other Fields, 89,000; Social Science 84,000; and Life and Physical Science, 79,000. Adding Engineering, Math and Computer Science, and Life and Physical Science gives 498,000, or about a half a million out of the 1.1 million international students.