Trump’s Immigration Policies And The Decline Of American Education
Donald Trump has already done plenty to contribute to the “dumbing down” of America with his constant lies and obfuscations. But he is doing more lasting damage as well, from grade schools to graduate schools.
In Las Cruces, New Mexico, an ICE raid prompted a startling 60% rise in absentee rates at local schools, with over 2,000 students not showing for classes in the area. The ICE raid occurred on February 15th and the increase in absences began the very next day. Some elementary schools in the area showed absentee increases of 150%. After a letter from the schools district’s superintendent to all families saying that further ICE raids were not expected, absentee rates returned to somewhat normal levels around a week later.
In 2011, the Obama administration instructed ICE to avoid schools, churches, and hospitals for enforcement purposes. But, under Trump, it is unclear whether that policy remains in place as ICE has violated the policy in a number of instances. Certainly, undocumented immigrants have no faith that ICE will follow the rule so every raid creates large repercussions in the community.
It seems pretty obvious that driving these children, who are not necessarily undocumented themselves but may have a parent who is, away from school will not help their education. It certainly creates a perpetual sense of fear in both parents and children that is not healthy.
In Toronto, schools have decided to cease field trips to the United States for fear that some students will be turned away at the border under the Trump administration’s extreme vetting program. A similar issue of foreign students not coming to the US is now creating real problems for American colleges and universities. Foreign students create some $32 billion in revenue for these institutions and support some 400,000 jobs in the education industry. But a recent survey showed that 40% of colleges and universities have seen drops in applications from foreign students. As a counterpoint, universities in Toronto have seen an 80% rise in applications from the US and a 25% rise in foreign students overall.
Foreign students for the most part represent the best and the brightest from around the world. When they come here for an education, many end up staying and becoming productive members of our society and economy. So we are losing more than just revenue and jobs for colleges and universities. More than half of the billion dollar startups in this country were created by immigrants to the US. And the foreign students who return to their home country carry some of America’s values back with them.
Trump’s extreme immigration policies are already adversely effecting American education and the future prosperity of the country. And the scary thing is, the impact of Betsy DeVos on education has yet to be felt.
I’ve also written about this and other issues on my personal blog at [tidalsoundings.blogspot.com]