Foreign students found to be associated with higher education institutions linked to the CCP’s (Chinese Communist Party) military will face being deported, if new U.S. immigration rules are approved.
The Trump administration is cracking down on Chinese graduate students and researchers, who live in the United States and have direct ties to universities affiliated with the CCP’s Liberation Army.
If the measure takes effect an estimated 3,000 students and academics could have their visas canceled, representing less than 1 percent of all Chinese students in the United States.
New visa applicants could also be rejected, if they are found to be associated with universities linked to the Liberation Army.
Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), who previously expressed concern about the CCP using Beijing-funded Confucius Institutes and other educational or cultural exchanges to influence American universities, expressed his support for a “targeted approach” when canceling Chinese student and academic visas.
The Rubio believes the measure should make it harder for the CCP to take advantage of the freedoms at American educational institutions to carry out the CCP’s military and espionage agenda.
“The Chinese government too often entraps its own people into service … in exchange for an education in the United States,” he said according to The New York Times. “Higher education institutions in America need to be fully aware of this counterintelligence threat.”
Other concerns include Chinese universities providing students with training in spying techniques and encouraging them to gather and send back intelligence during their stay in the United States according to Fox News.
The tougher measures are widely speculated to attract a hostile response from Beijing’s leadership, which could impose restrictions on the visa eligibility and educational options for U.S. citizens within its own borders.
Several U.S. universities are also expected to resist the visa crackdown since mainland China is a major source of international students who typically pay full tuition fees.
President Donald Trump previously issued a memorandum on visa sanctions to help contain the CCP Virus pandemic on April 10, 2020.
The president stressed the “profound and unique public health risks” associated with the deadly disease and urged foreign countries to refrain from delaying repatriation of their compatriots to avoid any “unacceptable public health risks for Americans.”
“The United States must be able to effectuate the repatriation of foreign nationals who violate the laws of the United States,” he said in the statement.
He also empowered Secretary of State Mike Pompeo to “adopt and initiate a plan to impose the visa sanctions.”