Skip to content
Subscriber Only
Noah Smith

Trump’s Student Visa Clampdown Hurts the Rust Belt

Ailing towns that see places like College Station, Texas, as a model are going to have trouble.

Worth copying.

Worth copying.

Photographer: Brett Wilhelm/NCAA Photos/Getty Images

President Donald Trump has been making life more difficult for foreign students trying to study in the U.S. His administration has implemented much stricter review of student visas, has threatened to make it harder for international students to work, and even changed a website to hamper international students’ efforts to get jobs.

This constant stream of threats and harassment, in addition to the general climate of xenophobia created by Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric, is having an effect — in the year ended in September 2017, the State Department issued 40 percent fewer student visas than in 2015, and foreign student enrollment, which had already stopped rising during the 2016 election year, is now falling at an accelerating rate: