Newly inaugurated President Joe Biden and his administration are offering positive changes for international students.
Biden spent a bit of his first day in the office proposing an immigration bill that eases the journey of naturalization for undocumented immigrants. He also took actions to protect the DACA (Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals) program and issued an executive order that repealed former President Trump’s travel ban policy.
In 2019 and 2020, there was a 2% decline in the international student population, according to The Institue of International Education’s annual Open Doors survey.
According to some Troy students, universities may see a reverse in that decline due to Biden’s actions – one of which is offering green cards to doctoral graduates.
“I feel like it is a great idea because Biden is acknowledging the fact that Ph.D. (graduates) will have achieved the highest level of knowledge and skill to be gained in their fields,” said Anita Adioloe, a senior human services major from Nigeria. “Offering these students green cards would be a way to put their skills to use in building the nation.”
Some students said the new president’s pursuing of more inclusive immigration laws could lead to the betterment of the country in several areas.
“Immigration is not only a booster on the economy but also a way to experience various cultures,” said Jackson Kiger, a junior political science major from Huntsville, Alabama.
“The United States should be known as a hub of technological prowess and international prestige and increasing the green card availability to doctoral students aids this.”
Apart from obtaining a permanent resident or citizen status, the H-1B visa has been one of the best ways for foreign nationals to work long-term in the U.S. This visa greatly favors international students as well as highly skilled workers from other countries. Biden has proposed that the rule, which prioritizes H1-B workers based on their pay, should be frozen until March 21, 2021.
This act encourages international students to consider American universities as more opportunities open up.
According to Marcelles Martin, a freshman international politics major, “People who come to our country greatly help the economy as they pursue various careers.”
“Allowing international students to be educated here would promote American interest abroad when they return home,” Martin said.