Immigration restrictions could raise your tuition bill

Ashley McCann, Opinions Editor

Shortly before President Trump’s revised immigration ban was set to take effect, a federal judge in Hawaii put the ban on hold. Hawaii, with its existing lawsuit against the proposed restrictions on immigration, is supported by more than a half dozen states and federal courts. The ban raises considerable concerns for many, especially in relation to the suspicion that the immigration restrictions discriminate against Muslims.

According to the Associated Press, “The new version of the ban details more of a national security rationale. It is narrower and eases some concerns about violating the due-process rights of travelers.”

The revised document applies only to new visas from Iran, Somalia, Syria, Libya, Sudan and Yemen, and will not affect those who have already obtained visas. While this update may soothe the worries of some, considerable criticism continues, especially in reference to the countries that are on the list and the possible repercussions of enacting the ban.

While the issue of unfair restriction of specific countries is identified through the states, federal courts and numerous news outlets, there is another issue that could be produced if the travel ban is put into full effect that many have not addressed.

This travel ban could lead to a decrease in international students, and that decrease could then produce considerable difficulty for colleges and universities, as international students pay full price tuition.

For example, in 2012, 18 percent of the University of Washington’s freshmen population were students studying abroad, most of them from China. “Each [international student] pays tuition of $28,059, about three times as much as students from Washington State. And that, according to the dean of admissions, is how low-income Washingtonians — more than a quarter of the class — get a free ride,” said Tamar Lewin of The New York Times. Basically, if the number of international students decreases considerably, then the money a university pulls in will decrease. That decrease would then result in an increase in tuition since the school would have less money coming in to support the community’s needs.

This potential financial turbulence is especially threatening to those who attend public universities that receive less state support. “At top research universities, for example, an increase in foreign students accounted for an average 22 percent of the increase in tuition revenue between 2007 and 2012, according to research out of the Population Studies Center at the University of Michigan. At three universities—Ohio State, Purdue and Indiana—more than half of increased revenue came from international students,” said Kaitlin Mulhere reporter for Time Magazine.

In addition to the possible negative effects for those who currently attend universities in the U.S., it is important to note that if the travel ban is enacted, those who may have been able to study abroad in the U.S. may lose that opportunity. This is unacceptable.

Increased exposure to diverse groups of people is a valuable part of human development – not just a nice way to get a discount on a tuition bill.

By learning to become more accepting and understanding the opportunity for people to dehumanize each other decreases, and that’s something many people seem to have trouble with. When people are able to appreciate their differences and embrace their similarities, that’s when progress happens. Denying individuals the opportunity to attend an American university and decreasing multi-cultural collaboration should not be a priority for this country.

While I understand certain safety concerns considering the recent terror attacks around the world, I do not believe that restricting the travel from six specific countries and denying education and exposure is the correct remedy. This travel ban would hurt those who would be restricted from visiting the U.S. as well as those who live in America. As members of the Lewis family and collegiate associates, it is important to assess the possible repercussions of this ban in a compassionate way that considers both how it could affect the Lewis community as well as affect those who could one day be a part of our community.

Ashley McCann
Ashley McCann is a junior english and secondary education major. This is her second year on The Flyer, but first as opinions editor.

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