leadership

Trump’s plan to expel foreign students was an attack on U.S. science leadership

The Trump administration told international students at U.S. colleges and universities that they couldn't stay in this country if they did not attend classes this fall in person. Shown are students at UCLA. <span class="copyright">(Los Angeles Times)</span>
The Trump administration told international students at U.S. colleges and universities that they couldn’t stay in this country if they did not attend classes this fall in person. Shown are students at UCLA. (Los Angeles Times)

From the Trump administration perspective, suddenly forcing international students out of the country must have looked like three wins in one. It would have ejected mostly non-European immigrants, advanced the administration’s new demand that schools reopen their campuses despite the threat posed by COVID-19, and financially and academically harmed universities, which Trump views as bastions of liberal indoctrination.

Not to mention striking a blow against science, and especially against the nation’s leadership in scientific research, which has come about largely because of its globally admired university programs in engineering and laboratory science.

At least the odious preliminary directive was withdrawn Tuesday, though we don’t know how new students and those whose visas are ending

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