- The Washington Times - Wednesday, November 20, 2019

A new report found a recent decline of international students going to school in the United States has lost the U.S. economy more than $11.8 billion.

The foreign student enrollment decline has reportedly also lost the U.S. 65,000 jobs, according to estimates from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, and the association largely blames the Trump administration for this fall.

“There’s many variables, but largely it’s been the policies and rhetoric from the current administration that’s really driven the numbers to move in that direction,” Rachel Banks, NAFSA’s director of public policy, told CNN.

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NAFSA added the rising amount of gun violence is deterring foreign students for fear of their safety.

“It’s not only the anti-immigrant rhetoric being expressed by this administration, there’s also increasing concern with regard to gun violence in this country,” Ms. Banks said, CNN reported. “There’s been a number of shootings and that gets reported worldwide, and parents certainly take all of this into account when they are thinking about where they want to send their children to study.”

The U.S. Department of State Open Doors report found that new international student enrollment fell for the third year in a row during the 2018-2019 academic year, dropping to 0.9% after falling 6.6% the year prior.

The Trump administration told reporters last week that it blames low enrollment on the high cost of U.S. universities.

Caroline Casagrande, deputy assistant secretary for academic programs at the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Educational and Cultural Affairs, said the Trump administration has made “more efforts than ever in outreach to international students,” and “to mitigate against the cost of education in the U.S.”

NAFSA found the 1 million international students at U.S. schools provided the U.S. economy $41 billion and supported almost 500,000 jobs during the 2018-2019 school year.

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