Tom Cotton, Marsha Blackburn Plan Ends China-to-U.S. Student Visa Pipeline

In this photo made Saturday, Aug. 22, 2015, Hua Bai, center, vice president of Friendship Association of Chinese Scholars and Students, prepares for an orientation for fellow Chinese students at the University of Texas at Dallas in Richardson, Texas. Bai from China last year to work on a master’s degree …
AP Photo/LM Otero, File

Senators Tom Cotton (R-AR) and Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) are looking to end China’s pipeline of foreign students to fill spots at American universities and take American STEM jobs.

In the wake of the Chinese coronavirus crisis, Cotton and Blackburn — as well as Rep. David Kustoff (R-TN) in the House — have filed legislation called the SECURE CAMPUS Act that ends the China-to-United States pipeline of Chinese nationals receiving student visas for STEM fields.

“The Chinese Communist Party has long used American universities to conduct espionage on the United States,” Cotton said in a statement. “What’s worse is that their efforts exploit gaps in current law. It’s time for that to end.”

In short, Cotton and Blackburn’s plan would:

  • Ban Chinese nationals from receiving student visas to the U.S. for STEM fields
  • Ban Chinese nationals from working on federal R&D grants in STEM fields
  • Require universities, labs, and research institutes recieving federal taxpayer money to confirm that they will not knowingly employ participants in China’s foreign talent recruitment programs
  • Require China’s foreign talent recruitment program participants to register as foreign agents
  • Require the State Department to publish a list of China’s foreign talent recruitment programs

Blackburn said in a statement:

Beijing exploits student and research visas to steal science, technology, engineering, and manufacturing secrets from U.S. academic and research institutions. We’ve fed China’s innovation drought with American ingenuity and taxpayer dollars for too long; it’s time to secure the U.S. research enterprise against [China’s] economic espionage.

As Breitbart News has chronicled, the U.S. legal immigration system remains hugely beneficial to China.

From 2008 to 2018, more than 825,000 Chinese nationals arrived in the U.S. on green cards — an immigration status that provides them with permanent residency, a pathway to American citizenship, and eventually the ability to bring an unlimited number of foreign relatives to the country through the process known as “chain migration.”

There are nearly 500,000 Chinese students in the U.S. in any given year — more than any other country — taking seats in university classrooms and looking to eventually obtain Optional Practical Training (OPT) visas to take entry-level jobs in white-collar professions.

In Fiscal Year 2019, alone, Chinese nationals secured about 170,000 F, J, and M visas to arrive in the U.S. as students — more than any other country in the world.

John Binder is a reporter for Breitbart News. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.


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