By Joe Guzzardi
November 14, 2012
For the sixth consecutive year, a record number of international students attended United States colleges and universities. According to the Institute of International Education’s “Open Doors” report, this academic year 764,495 foreign-born students enrolled in America’s advanced education institutions. The study released earlier this month is based on data collected from 3,000 accredited colleges.
China, which accounts for 1 in every 4 foreign students in the U.S., is the number 1 sender with 194,029, a total which represents a 23 percent increase from the previous year’s 157,558. India, with 100,270 students, is second. In total, 31 percent more international students matriculate at U. S. colleges than a decade ago.
School administrators and globalists insist that added emphasis on international interaction among worldwide students is a positive. In a briefing with reporters, Assistant Secretary of State Ann Stocks claimed that American and foreign-born students will be “partners” in the “global challenges” ahead and “will change our relations with the rest of the world.”
Diversity and its perceived benefits are intangibles. With anti-American sentiment running high, Stock’s take is optimistic, naïve speculation. What’s beyond argument, however, is that for every freshman seat an international student occupies, one less seat is available to an American-born applicant. Equally undeniable is that from a financial perspective, university bureaucrats prefer overseas students because they pay the significantly higher out of state tuition rate.
Keep in mind that many universities which have accepted larger numbers of international students are land-grant institutions into which an overseas applicant and his family have paid nothing. Should Pennsylvania taxpayers like me be subsidizing Chinese kids’ tuition? Whether Pennsylvania’s working parents like it or not, they’re doing exactly that. Last year, Penn State’s international enrollment increased 6,075 and has the nation’s 12-largest foreign student body.
In short, more international admissions hurt American kids over the short and long terms. Not only do more foreign-born students make the odds against getting into universities harder for native-born high-school students but the long term consequences could be devastating, too. International students arrive on “J” visas which expire when they graduate or leave school for other reasons. But many change their immigration status, become permanent United States residents and compete for jobs against American-born graduates in an increasingly tight market.
The “J” visa introduces another reason why the continued higher level of international enrollment is a bad and possibly even deadly idea. Some students come from terrorist sponsoring countries; the largest groups are from Saudi Arabia, Iran, Nigeria and Malaysia which rank numbers four, 19, 20 and 21 among sending countries.
Earlier this year Quazi Mohammad Rezwanul Ahsan Nafis, a 21-year-old a Bangladeshi man, attempted to detonate what he thought was a 1,000 pound bomb to blow up the New York Federal Reserve Bank.
Hundreds would have been murdered had not FBI agents foiled Nafis’ plan. Officials later learned that Nafis first entered on a student visa and enrolled at Southeastern Missouri State University to study cyber security. Nafis had little trouble getting his visa even though he had an affiliation with al Qaeda and intended, according to him, to “wage jihad” once inside the country.
Sadly, “America First” is a passé notion. But to our put children at a competitive disadvantage first in college admission and eventually in the job market because foreign-born are more willing to pay the increasingly unaffordable tuition fees virtually seals our fate as a second rate nation.
Joe Guzzardi is a Californians for Population Stabilization Senior Writing Fellow whose columns have been syndicated since 1986. Contact him at [email protected]