The effects of Trump’s Chinese graduate student ban remain unknown

Last month, the Trump Administration put forth a proclamation that prohibited the entry of certain Chinese scholars into the United States. The U of I is closely monitoring the situation to see how it could affect students.

The proclamation affects Chinese graduate students with F and J visas who have, or have had ties with the Chinese government in supporting their military-civil fusion strategy. These visas allow the student to conduct research and attend school in the United States.

However, the proclamation does not specify who could be considered banned, given the criteria. Martin McFarlane, director of the University’s International Student and Scholar Services, said that the ISSS is monitoring the situation to see how this could affect the U of I’s Chinese graduate students, though he specified that the ISSS is also not entirely sure how big of an impact the proclamation will have.

“Ultimately most of my answers are simply ‘we don’t know,’” McFarlane said in an email.

While some questions are currently being left unanswered for the moment, the university is looking to gather more information on the issue. McFarlane said the university’s Office of Governmental Relations is talking to people at the Department of State to gather more information, who will then pass it on to the ISSS.

Currently, no students have had issues with their visas, however, McFarlane has said that many have expressed concerns and worries that they may be denied a visa due to the proclamation.

According to the Trump Administration, the proclamation came about as a form of national security in order to prevent military secrets to reach Chinese officials. The proclamation reads that some Chinese students may be exploited by their government.

Others say that the proclamation does more harm than good, saying that many research laboratories throughout the country could potentially be affected, which in turn would affect research and development of new technologies within the United States.

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Jose Zepeda

Jose Zepeda is a senior at the University of Illinois majoring in journalism and minoring in political science. He is now on his third year with Good Morning Illini, previously serving as director, reporter and crew member. He is also currently a digital intern for WILL, the NPR- and PBS- affiliate in Urbana and vice-president of the National Association of Hispanic Journalists University of Illinois chapter. He also has his own podcast with fellow GMI-er Angelle Cortes called Just Chillin’. He brings previous experience as a features intern at The News-Gazette and as a daytime news editor at The Daily Illini. You can follow him on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @JoseZepedaTV.