back to article Trump's bright idea of kicking out foreign students unless unis resume in-person classes stuns tech, science world

Science and tech leaders, and immigration lawyers, have reacted with alarm to a Trump administration diktat that foreign university students in the US must return to their home countries if their college course is online-only mid-pandemic. The new policy, announced on Monday by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE …

  1. Sorry that handle is already taken. Silver badge
    WTF?

    PSA

    America: you've got an opportunity to end this madness in a few months. Use it wisely.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: PSA

      Dream on.

      Trump will be the first 3 term president since Roosevelt, mark my words.

      1. seven of five Silver badge

        Re: PSA

        That would make him the last President of the US as well.

        1. Potemkine! Silver badge

          Re: PSA

          If the fascist crowd in the US succeeds to repeal the 22nd Amendment for Trump to stay president, it will mark the official end of US democracy (if one can consider a democracy a country where the President can be elected with less people voting for him/her than for his/her competitor)

          1. ICL1900-G3
            Headmaster

            Re: PSA

            Fewer!

            1. tfb Silver badge
              Black Helicopters

              Re: PSA

              Is that 'ICL 1900 with George 3'? Enquiring minds want to know!

              (I learned FORTRAN on a 2904 which was a 19xx pretending to be a 29xx and was a deeply horrid machine, although I kind of liked using it).

          2. ST Silver badge

            Re: PSA

            > If the fascist crowd in the US succeeds to repeal the 22nd Amendment for Trump to stay president [ ... ]

            In reality that's next to impossible. First, Congress must vote with at least 2/3 majority in both Houses to call a Constitutional Convention. After that happens, Congress must vote again, with at least 2/3 majority in both Houses, to repeal the 22nd Amendment. After that, at least 3/4 of all State Legislatures must vote to repeal.

            Not happening.

          3. holmegm Bronze badge

            Re: PSA

            You people really have completely lost your minds. You do realize that you sound stark raving mad, right?

            "The fascist crowd", to the extent that one even exists, are the ones who are engaging in political street violence, with the tacit approval of some of the authorities (sound historically familiar?). Hint: they don't even like Trump (to put it mildly).

            You are completely confused as to who is who.

            1. caradoc

              Re: PSA

              They are repeating the daily press feed propaganda.

            2. GrahamRJ

              Re: PSA

              You mean the gun nuts in Michigan, perhaps? They certainly like Trump.

              Oh, you mean the people protesting against black people being killed with impunity by the police? It's an interesting idea to call anti-racism "fascist", but not exactly founded in reality.

          4. mrobaer

            Re: PSA

            The United States isn't a true democracy where majority rules. We're a representative democracy. I don't fault you for not realizing that, because I think over half this country thinks we're a democracy as well! If it weren't for the representative part, the population centers would decided the outcome for the rest of nation, which is quite vast.

            Trump won in 2016 because many people would rather gamble with an unknown than put Hillary Clinton in the office. If he wins in 2020, it'll be for similar reasons. We don't have very good choices this election year.

        2. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: PSA

          "That would make him the last President of the US as well."

          Both him an his alt-right supporters would be very happy with both of those outcomes. They are the real enemies within.

          1. Blank Reg Silver badge

            Re: PSA

            Well then at least Putin will have got his money's worth

            1. seven of five Silver badge

              Re: PSA

              Yeah, Putin Putin Putin everywhere. ´cos it is unimaginable the US are incompetent enough to cater their own demise through greed and egomania....

      2. jgarbo
        Devil

        Re: PSA

        That depends on his owners. The voters have no say. Can Trump keep up the charade while his owners pillage what's left of the US? The BLM distraction is working, dogs chasing their own tails, destroying their own neighborhoods, killing each other. Yep, those morons deserve him for another term at least.

        1. Twilight

          Re: PSA

          Try actually doing some research. A lot of the destruction of black neighborhoods was NOT done by black protesters or rioters. The initial riots in Minneapolis were started by a Caucasian dressed in a gas mask and other gear/clothing to conceal his identity (the gas mask was the same model as used by the St Paul police but is also available to the public (for $300+)). A lot of the rioting and violence was perpetrated by white supremacists.

      3. Palpy

        Re: Trump, 3-term president

        Oh, these discussions are great fun -- they bring out the crazy in most of us.

        IMHO, give current polls, the only way Trump stays in office is this: declare national emergency, suspend the Constitution, dismiss Congress, and use the military to enforce a dictatorship. That's the way it's done elsewhere, historically.

        The US military have kept a stiff upper about working with him, but behind the scenes he's burned a lot of bridges with the generals. Right from the start, when he told them the US military "no longer knows how to win", and following up with stuff like pardoning a convicted war criminal, attempting to pull out of Syria (quite a surprise to the generals), letting Russia pay bounties for death of US soldiers and not doing puck-all about it, and so on.

        If he tried the military coup route, I suspect the military would gently escort him off the White House grounds forever.

        So as it stands now, the worst president in US history has no reasonable way to stay in power. I'm sure these thoughts will be anathema to those on the forum of the far-right bent, but so what? It's all good clean fun here.

      4. zuckzuckgo Bronze badge

        Re: PSA

        > Trump will be the first 3 term president since Roosevelt, mark my words.

        Or maybe Obama runs as vice president and Biden resigns or passes away mid term and Obama becomes a 3 term president.

        1. codejunky Silver badge

          Re: PSA

          @zuckzuckgo

          "Or maybe Obama runs as vice president and Biden resigns or passes away mid term and Obama becomes a 3 term president."

          After living through Obama as president people voted for Trump! I wonder what another term would drive people to do

    2. Mark 85 Silver badge

      Re: PSA

      Considering that he's in trouble with his base slowly melting away, this is just another attempt to pander to to them. He hates anyone not white and it's showing more and more everyday* He plays the religion card very well even though he hasn't been in a church in decades.

      If the shrinks are right who have looked at things from a distance are right, he's an egomaniac, a paranoid, and in dementia. From where many of my friends are, we think he's just nuts.

      I wonder what his next stupid stunt will be. But then again after the way he's treated other world leaders as well as citizens of the US, I'm not sure really want to know.

      *Except he loves to use/abuse them for worker bees in hotels.

      1. Qumefox

        Re: PSA

        "If the shrinks are right who have looked at things from a distance are right, he's an egomaniac, a paranoid, and in dementia. From where many of my friends are, we think he's just nuts."

        I believe the term you're looking for is Narcissistic sociopath.

    3. Mike the FlyingRat
      Alien

      @Sorry... Re: PSA

      So there are two ways to look at this...

      1) Trump's an idiot and is doing this because he hate's far-in-ers. [sic]

      2) Trump is forcing the issues for schools to get back into session.

      Now on the merits of the lawsuit, if there are no 'in-person' classes, Trump looks like an idiot.

      But,

      There are many schools where the faculty who are mostly at risk due to their age... refuse to go to school and teach because they view it as a health risk. No professors, no in person classes.

      Trump and most everyone except the teachers who are still going to get paid, want to see classes in session.

      Just another way to look at this and try to actually understand how Trump thinks.

  2. Snake Silver badge

    "The last thing America needs right now is a brain drain"

    Too late. It's been present in the White House for many years now and filtering well from the top, down. When many of us vote with our emotions, rather than using a single gram of intelligence, we get what we deserve. America the Stupid has become our motto, wearing our "Science is not to be believed!" pins out and proud. I've become ashamed of coming from this inbred country, it's only gotten worse these past 20 or so years.

    1. Schultz Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: "The last thing America needs right now is a brain drain"

      We like to think in absolutes, but the brain drain happens piecemeal. In ten to twenty years, we can look back and point out how the brain drain hurt the US. Or maybe not.

      Smart choices today will build the world of tomorrow. Or not.

    2. chivo243 Silver badge

      Re: "The last thing America needs right now is a brain drain"

      " it's only gotten worse these past 20 or so years." Just when I got out... Regan started the whole decline...

    3. Sherrie Ludwig

      Re: "The last thing America needs right now is a brain drain"

      @Snake seems to have forgotten the Pandemic Response team we had, from the eight year President Obama that handled SARS and Ebola. We had a functioning country, but the anti reality GOP f's it up as usual.

      1. G Olson

        Re: "The last thing America needs right now is a brain drain"

        The Pandemic Response team spent an entire decade trying to decide on the definitions of basic terminology for policy. This same team also depleted the pandemic equipment stockpiles and did not refill the warehouses. What need to keep a team which couldn't perform basic management and operational functions? You seem to have forgotten to do basic research before making accusations.

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: "The last thing America needs right now is a brain drain"

        Um, with respect, SARS and ebola are not particularly effective at transmission,

        It was the Obama administration which left the US without stockpiles of PPE

        You had the skein of a functioning country - underneath was fubar - which is why the US ended up with Trump. Promising to "drain the swamp" (wehter he succeeded or not) and 'what have you got to loose' touched a nerve with enough people.

        The alternative was potentially worse in 2016.

        1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

          "Obama left the US without stockpiles of PPE"

          Fact check.

          C.

  3. MrName

    The fact is that schools face a crap choice now. Reopen and get people sick then pay for that, or don't reopen and sacrifice all the students. The problem is that even if schools do reopen none know how many students will actually show, or how they will behave if they do. Trump and DeVos fancy they can order kids into the classrooms but a lot of kids, and their parents, have different ideas. Add in that plus the uncertainty that all non-us students face and the damage is already being done.

    Of course telling Trump that something pisses off Harvard and Silicon Valley won't deter him, that is what he wants.

    Donald Trump once told an interviewer "Those who spend a day with The Donald don't want to spend more time with The Donald." When all is said and done he may leave that to be America.

    1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

      Harvard will have a single in-person class, social distancing 101, and skip the requirement.

      Nobody from India/China is paying $50Kyear to do youtube lectures without the opportunity to earn immigration resident years

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Think of the teachers...

      @MrName,

      Quite right that this is a crap choice about the schools. One problem we tend to overlook is that the average age for a secondary school teacher in the US is between 42 and 44 - I've seen both quoted. The typical teacher is right at the start of the high risk ages. They're screwed.

      I'm usually not a big fan of the teacher's unions, but this is definitely an appropriate time for them to go absolutely nuts. But of course that will play into Trump's "the damn unions are destroying the country" appeal to his base

      1. Intractable Potsherd Silver badge

        Re: Think of the teachers...

        The evidence is very strong that children are not a significant vector in transmitting Covid-19. This can be seen in the non-existent spike in cases/deaths amongst teachers, parents, or grandparents.

      2. KBeee Bronze badge
        Happy

        Re: Think of the teachers...

        Nuts... I see what you did there

  4. redpawn Silver badge

    University of Hawaii

    New rules sent to the professors today state that if classes which begin in person but convert to online due to an outbreak, can result in the deportation of foreign students.

  5. msobkow

    Trump knows most of the foreign students are asian, especially Chinese. He's taking more revenge on innocents caught in the crossfire of his trade war.

  6. skeptical i
    FAIL

    Does the Big D.T. talk to mayors at all?

    I get the impression that he thinks Amurka's mayors are happier than pigs in slop to keep businesses and schools closed, not sure who he's talking to. In my corner of the planet (in a Covid hotspot, btw), our mayors would love nothing more than for schools and businesses to re-open (keep the sales tax dollars flowing, get kids out of the house so parents/ carers can go back to work, put out the welcome mat for tourists) but they do NOT want to open the business door, see a renewed Covid spike, and then have to close again, and thus they are being VERY cautious about what can re-open, and how/when/if. Kicking foreign students back to their home countries is not just cruel, but also deprives the municipalities of the teensy bit more sales tax that is trickling into the general fund, since these students still have to eat, pay rent, and buy stuff. Not saying this is a ginormous wodge of spend, but I'm guessing every penny counts to already-strapped city budgets. (Of course, there is the "brain drain" issue already mentioned.) On the other side, from what I hear from teachers (which, granted, is not very much), they are not at all happy to be doing online/ distance learning (or "learning") since they know the kids are not keeping pace with where they would be in a real classroom (and that these lags will have to be made up somehow in the future) but they also don't want to risk more Covid spikes (some teachers/staff are elderly and/or have immune issues and now I hear that kids /do/ get Covid but it manifests differently than in adults and thus goes un-diagnosed). It would be nice if Big D.T. would defer to those closest to the situation, and who will be voted out of office (mayors, councils, school boards, etcetera) if their constituents don't agree with their plans.

    1. MrName

      No.

      There is plenty of empirical evidence that this is a terrible plan in the long run, the fact that he is flogging it means he does not listen to anyone who would tell him otherwise.

      Personally I don't think that he listens to anyone except those who already validate what he is doing. And the people closest to him like Mnucin and Kusher have long argued that closing will kill the markets so we have to "get America Going(tm)". And people around him Like Pence are too busy attending mass indoor gatherings of COVID-infected churchgoers to actually speak the truth (or see the light).

      Put it another way and not to psychonalayze the guy, but he declared the Virus dead along time ago. He won't admit that he didn't win.

      1. DS999

        Re: No.

        He surrounds himself with yes men, and watches his cheerleaders on Fox News for hours every morning when a real president would be working. He's living in an alternate reality bubble, which is the only reason he thinks he can tell people that coronavirus is contained though even Fox is starting to have trouble maintaining that fantasy with the biggest outbreaks now in red states. Being surrounded by yes men surely has to be the only reason he thinks that speaking up for the confederate flag is a winning campaign strategy - even senators from deep red old south states like South Carolina are speaking up against him on that!

        If the students lose their visas and have to leave the economy loses all the money they spend on housing, food, and so forth. Hundreds of thousands of foreign students adds up to a lot of economic stimulus at a time when local economies - especially in college towns that will be already suffering at some level of shutdown if things are bad enough the schools can't have in-person instruction - badly need the help.

        I knew some foreign students from India and China back when I was in school. None of them had jobs outside school, other than research related stuff for grad students. They came from families with a lot of money, lived in nice apartments, drove nice cars, and were definitely not taking jobs away from Americans. He's just doing this because he knows he'll get a bunch of cheers from the bozos who come to his rallies when he tells them he's kicking out all the foreign students from China. Of course they applaud when he drinks with one hand, so they are nothing more than trained monkeys who applaud on command.

        1. Mark 85 Silver badge

          Re: No.

          He surrounds himself with yes men, and watches his cheerleaders on Fox News for hours every morning

          He's lately been beating up Fox for questioning his decisions and pushing for people to go to another news service that loves him.

          As long as everyone praises him, he's happy. The minute they question, he'll scream, through a tantrum, and bad mouth them.

          1. Lars Silver badge
            Mushroom

            Re: No.

            "As long as everyone praises him, he's happy. The minute they question, he'll scream, through a tantrum, and bad mouth them."

            He is mentally a baby, the Brits got it right here:

            https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AlNU10Hkiu8

            Trump Baby Balloon

      2. JohnMurray

        Re: No.

        Personally; I don't think he listens.

        Except to those voices inside his head.

        1. chivo243 Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: No.

          He must be answering those voices too... he sure ain't talkin to anyone I know.

    2. katrinab Silver badge

      Re: Does the Big D.T. talk to mayors at all?

      The best thing for the economy is to do what the likes of New Zealand and Isle of Man did. A short start lockdown to completely eliminate the virus, then you can relax all measures except border controls.

      1. jgarbo
        Happy

        Re: Does the Big D.T. talk to mayors at all?

        Which's what we did in Thailand. Tough lock down for two months - bars, restaurants, pubs, markets, discos, dept stores, malls, sports. No booze. Borders sealed. Local groceries, 7-11, pharmacies, medical services OK. Out of 73 million, we lost 58. Only new cases in 40 days are Thais returning from infected countries. Lock down now relaxed, almost normal but masks, distancing recommended.

        But we have an ex-military PM, who gives orders but listens to doctors, who run the Covid19 program. It's working. Internal travel now allowed. Just opened limited southern holiday resorts to selected nationalities, who must be Covid free.

        Strange not seeing the smiles of Thais but now they smile with their eyes. The Mystic East...

      2. iron Silver badge

        Re: Does the Big D.T. talk to mayors at all?

        Except that didn't really work in NZ did it?

        1. katrinab Silver badge
          Meh

          Re: Does the Big D.T. talk to mayors at all?

          It almost didn't due to a lapse in their border control, but currently all active cases are people in quarantine.

      3. overunder Silver badge

        Re: Does the Big D.T. talk to mayors at all?

        "... to completely eliminate the virus,"

        You can't put it back in the box. To think like that isn't realistic of such an aggressively simple virus once it has gone global.

        As for the article, a law to not allow purely online activities to justify a Visa makes sense. To forcefully deport during a virus for any reason at all is crazy. However, I read the thing and it seems this actually takes effect in 2021, but that's still a little too soon.

        I can't find anything irrespective of the virus if purely online activities is already not justifiable for a Visa, seems like it already should be. So is this just an appendage to the existing law or what?

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Does the Big D.T. talk to mayors at all?

          There's a legal appeal to stop this change. The argument is that the previous waiver to allow students to stay despite on-line classes said "until the end of the emergency", so it would be an arbitrary change now since the COVID emergency is clearly not over, hence may be blocked by a court.

          Trump may not care, since he is mostly interested in the headline of "Trump bashing visa holders" and may not care as much whether the policy actually happens. If he gets blocked in the courts he will probably just use this as an excuse to blame deep state rule-of-law.

          The fact that the change is effective next week seems unhelpfully short notice though for students with long lease agreements and other problems abruptly leaving in a pandemic, especially if it takes time to see if a legal challenge succeeds.

      4. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

        Re: Does the Big D.T. talk to mayors at all?

        "do what the likes of New Zealand and Isle of Man did."

        For anywhere else it now needs a time machine.

    3. andy gibson

      Re: Does the Big D.T. talk to mayors at all?

      D.T.

      Dickhead Tyrant?

    4. PassiveSmoking

      No

      Trump doesn't talk TO anybody. He talks AT them.

      Talking isn't the problem. Listening and comprehension is.

  7. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    magaaaa - maaagaaaa!

    Yes,this is a good move by the shallow minded, petty, insecure spink white asshole we have been forced to put up with for the last 1,264 days. All universities produce is Marxists left leaning students anyways so why not force the universities to kill off some of their students, their student's parents and grandparents by requiring the students to go on campus in the middle of an escalating pandemic. The trump voters don't like the over-educated anyway and they really don't like 'foreigners', so this is a win-win. Didn't trump say you'd be winning so much with him you'd be tired of winning? Yaay!

    On a rational note, I don't see how you can force me to risk my life (let's say I have one or more of CKD, COPD, compromised immunity due to organ transplant, etc) going to a classroom for a blatantly political attempt to get votes. Trump and DeVos aren't even trying to hide the fact that they're doing this for political reasons.

    1. MrName

      Never discount belief.

      I used to think that it was all political but in this case, as in his threat to veto the defense bill over the confederate base names, all rational political calculus is against them. At this point, they really believe this crap.

    2. Sanctimonious Prick
      Devil

      Re: magaaaa - maaagaaaa!

      Hey, AC,

      Maybe, just maybe, if you bothered to vote, things might have turned out differently?

      (I'm being an ass assuming you didn't)

      1. DS999

        Re: magaaaa - maaagaaaa!

        Unless AC lives in one of the states that Trump won, his vote couldn't have possibly affected the outcome.

      2. chivo243 Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: magaaaa - maaagaaaa!

        Voting in a two party system... hmm, do I want a hot poker up by back exit? Or do I want a really hot poker up there?

        Nice choice.

        1. Yet Another Anonymous coward Silver badge

          Re: magaaaa - maaagaaaa!

          >Voting in a two party system... hmm

          But if you don't vote for the lizard, then the wrong lizard might get in

    3. chivo243 Silver badge
      Unhappy

      Re: magaaaa - maaagaaaa!

      There's the other one killing America ~ DeVos How afraid are these people to make such ridiculous decisions?

  8. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

    Sometimes you just have to be there

    Biology, chemistry, electronics and physics all have practical components. A few parts of the course can be converted into kit form for work from home but plenty depend on expensive equipment that is only reasonably available as a shared resource. Just about any subject benefits from a library. The books can be really expensive and try before you buy saves money for selecting the books you really need for most of the year and gives access to the ones you only need for hours. The other students are also important. Explaining something to someone else is an excellent test of whether you understand it. Often a concept does not make the journey from a lecturer to a whole room full of students but if some get it they can put it into words the others do understand.

    As just being near the other students is a benefit, no course is completely online only. The open university understood this and includes some time with the students in the same room as a teacher even though the students chose the OU specifically to minimise time away from work, family or other commitments.

    After a little thought, Trump's edict turns out to be a stream of words to make his core supporters feel happy but can easily be interpreted so they have no effect in the real world.

    1. OldSoCalCoder

      Re: Sometimes you just have to be there

      I absolutely agree that the hardware on campus cannot be replaced by any kind of 'virtual' classroom. I also agree that one of the greatest benefits students receive when going to school is being face to face with professors and other students and cannot be replicated online.

      However, this pandemic is (hopefully) temporary and to some is life threatening. Trump et al are forcing universities to put people at risk to get votes in November. This is a short-sighted political play without regard to the safety of the population. I have no idea how to give the current crop of students the education they're paying for (foreign students paying more so), but this is a bad move at this time and is being forced on the universities without a rational discussion of options.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: Sometimes you just have to be there

      I entirely agree. I think this applies to most of life, really. I've certainly noticed that some types of activities I did at the office are not working as efficiently now that I am at home, and my job is one of the most easily virtualized ones. Still, I know that it is not safe for me to return to the office, and if the U.S.'s trend continues, it may not be safe for students to return to universities in a month or two. Given this safety concern, there are only a few ways to deal with it.

      You could just cancel classes and postpone them for a time when optimal learning conditions are available again. This would harm plenty of students who will have delayed entry into the job market and may not have the economic ability to do nothing for a semester. You could bring all the students to the campus with the ability to send them back home if something happens, but in addition to increasing the likelihood of something happening, you have also created a bunch of chaos if you do exercise the option of sending the students away. You could try a hybrid model where some students show up and some don't, which would probably be bad because those who do show up get all the benefits you listed in your comment while those who go virtual aren't the primary focus of the university's planning (as well as all the concerns about bringing everyone back just scaled down a bit).

      While you raise valid points, nobody is doing this because they think it's better. They're doing it because the situation is dangerous.

    3. Doctor Syntax Silver badge

      Re: Sometimes you just have to be there

      "The open university understood this"

      And, of course, had time to spend setting everything up in the first place. I don't envy the universities trying to do this, or anything like it, on the fly.

  9. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    How?

    How are they supposed to get home? Even if their home country still has open borders they may not be able to get a flight or transit through a hub.

    1. Rich 11 Silver badge

      Re: How?

      Details, details, details. No-one's ever starved to death in a transit lounge. Yet.

  10. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Making America [Brain] Dead

    Again.

  11. Rich 11 Silver badge

    There are a broad number of reasons why Trump’s approval is falling

    First and foremost that he's an utter shitweasel.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: There are a broad number of reasons why Trump’s approval is falling

      You, sir, are being most unkind to the first and foremost societiy of shitweasels. And to the second and nextmost shitweasels as well.

      1. Rich 11 Silver badge

        Re: There are a broad number of reasons why Trump’s approval is falling

        Look, I've got nothing against shitweasels personally. Some of my closest friends are shitweasels...

    2. DS999

      Re: There are a broad number of reasons why Trump’s approval is falling

      In 2016 the anti-Mexican racism and culture wars about transgender bathrooms did pretty well not only with his base but with enough of the middle of the road voters that he was able to put together enough to squeak through in combination with taking Hillary's already dismal likability and making her even less likable with the constant drumbeat of email related news.

      In 2020 the anti-Chinese racism isn't playing as well because while blue collar union jobs have been leaving the US for Mexico for years, union jobs have have not been lost to China, so that doesn't resonate with anyone but his base. Culture wars about the confederate flag and statues aren't even polling well in the south, and have never been supported in the rest of the US, so he's failing there too. Scare tactics about BLM protestors aren't doing much either, there have been too many videos showing police abuse so while BLM protests were overwhelmingly black the first time around, this time there were more white people than black in most places and there were fairly large protests even in rural very white red states like Nebraska.

    3. Flocke Kroes Silver badge

      Re: Trump is an utter shitweasel

      That did not stop him last time but last time many people believed that a shitweasel could never get elected president. Americans will not make that mistake again until 2024.

    4. RobThBay

      Re: There are a broad number of reasons why Trump’s approval is falling

      The trump fanbase of pandemic denying "I ain't gonna wear a mask because it violates my freedom" are starting to catch Covid and probably won't be around to vote.

  12. Rameses Niblick the Third Kerplunk Kerplunk Whoops Where's My Thribble? Silver badge

    Is it possible to gaslight an entire country?

    “We hope that most schools are going to be open, and we don’t want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons,” Trump said.

    ...he said in a political statement, which was made for entirely political reasons.

    1. theOtherJT

      Re: Is it possible to gaslight an entire country?

      Sadly something that has been made abundantly clear these last 5 years is that yes, yes it is.

      1. stiine Silver badge
        Unhappy

        Re: Is it possible to gaslight an entire country?

        5 years? How big is that rock that you've been living under since the 90's.

  13. Chris G Silver badge

    Remind me

    So far, which bits of America has the shitgibbon made great again, in comparison to before he took office?

    1. Oliver Mayes

      Re: Remind me

      The bank balances of his own companies, and the pockets of countless CEO's who swore to obey him without question in return for lucrative government positions.

    2. DLSmith

      Re: Remind me

      Those who have big brown nosee from pressing it firmly into his behind.

  14. Potemkine! Silver badge

    "Idiocracy" was so farseeing

    With Trump's decision there's a bonus: propagate Covid-19 more by sending people possibly contaminated in the US abroad!

    Or maybe that's the point, to make look US situation on this less awful? Everything's is possible with this clown.

  15. matthewdjb

    “We hope that most schools are going to be open, and we don’t want people to make political statements or do it for political reasons,” Trump said.

    So instead he's going to force them to open for political reasons.

  16. Pascal Monett Silver badge

    “They think it’s going to be good for them politically"

    Universities do not think politics when they make decisions. Trump is just projecting his own way of thinking without any rational basis.

    Which is perfectly normal for him.

    It is time that the White House be ignored. Trump does not know how to manage, much less how to govern. Just ignore him and do The Right Thing (TM).

    He can wail and rant and talk about sending in the National Guard all he wants, the truth is, he only has power because people are used to listening to the White House. Reality check : the White House is stark, raving mad. Stop listening.

    1. diodesign (Written by Reg staff) Silver badge

      "It is time that the White House be ignored"

      Uh, good luck trying to ignore ICE deportation agents!

      C.

  17. LDS Silver badge

    "They think it’s going to be good for them politically so they keep the schools closed."

    "So let's open them because we think it’s going to be good for us politically"

  18. codejunky Silver badge

    Hmm

    I cant say I am shocked. This is a tough move to try and force the colleges to open. It is interesting to see Trump being complained about for the economy when he had a booming economy until the virus, and the expectation seems to be that he should have crippled the economy further by dictating a harsher lockdown.

    Remember Obama was clear that Americans had to get used to a lower growth economy and Trumps promise of boom was magical thinking. It will be an interesting autopsy of events to see which killed more- the lockdown or the virus. But that will be an assessment in the future requiring clearer heads.

    And after all these lockdown measures around the world the second wave hits predictably as the only apparent protection from the virus is immunity from catching the bugger. Vaccinations being a while away and we cant stop living while we wait for a vaccine.

    1. HausWolf

      Re: Hmm

      The boom was financed by irresponsible deficit spending and equally irresponsible tax cuts. Now that trump has completely blown the response to Covid-19 the magnitude of his idiocy is being shown. And while it may be fine for you to sacrifice yourself on the altar of the stock markets, some people wouldn't mind living long enough to see their grand kids graduate.

      1. codejunky Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        @HausWolf

        "The boom was financed by irresponsible deficit spending and equally irresponsible tax cuts"

        That is arguable. Except for people supporting the Dems who wanted to spaff the same money but instead of tax breaks which encourage the economy they would dole it to their mates and make no economic progress. Both sides wanted to spaff money but Trump wanted a booming economy and Obama didnt see any way to improve the economy.

        "Now that trump has completely blown the response to Covid-19 the magnitude of his idiocy is being shown"

        Did he? The WHO screwed up and showed themselves political (didnt want to declare pandemic in case the Chinese called racism). The federal machine aka swamp screwed up and enforced testing with contaminated test kits. Trump didnt want to close everything down, as Sweden didnt. The lockdowns being very difficult to lift and seeming to have achieved very little good. It has buggered economies (aka people) which has led to unemployment and less money for tax take while more money is spent.

        "And while it may be fine for you to sacrifice yourself on the altar of the stock markets, some people wouldn't mind living long enough to see their grand kids graduate."

        Actually it would be people dying if we sacrifice the economy (yes the stock markets). We need to make stuff to have stuff. We want ventilators? Who is gonna make em if nobody is working? Food? Logistics? Power? Water? The gov can print money but we cant eat it. It isnt a drug nor machine that will help deal with the symptoms.

        So if you want them to live long enough to see graduation surely you want the kids getting an education and people back to work before the grandparents are skint or require what we run out of.

        1. Alt C

          Re: Hmm

          Except Trumps tax breaks didn't make a booming ecomony did they? if they had we would have seen a drop in the wealth inequality in America - something that hasn't happened oh and a little bit of fact checking shows Obama had periods of GDP growth bigger than trump ever had - so sorry codejunky your echo chamner is telling you porkies again.

          Now i know you like simple black and white narrative but WHO like a lot of UN organisations has been hampered over the years by america not being inclined to have any UN organisation being able to tell it what to do, it resisted all efforts to give WHO the powers to force inspections on govenments and so they have had to play nice with people that were not being totally honest with them - so the WHO response is another of 'Merica fuck yeah policies coming home to roost. - As an intellectual exercise compare America's handling of WTO when it spent the time and effort to control it and implement American trade policies.

          What is not in doubt was Obama America recognised the potential threat of viruses from china and arranged to have CDC personel on the ground to monitor China - posts Trump when getting in choose not to fill and left America blind at just the wrong time.

          Funnily it seems to be only those countries run by popularist right wing governments that tried to ignore the covid problem that appear to have totally shit canned their economies while killing thousands because they didn't do lock downs properly or early enough.

          Yeah its tough to see how Trump and Boris totally messed up the COVID response unless you actually open your eyes and look but maybe that would take you out of your nice safe space.

          BTW even Sweeden admits it would do things differently now.

          1. codejunky Silver badge

            Re: Hmm

            @Alt C

            "Except Trumps tax breaks didn't make a booming ecomony did they?"

            Yes. Some of the best employment records with above developed country growth and an entire departure from what he was left with.

            "if they had we would have seen a drop in the wealth inequality in America"

            No that is wrong. During the recession we saw a drop in wealth inequality because we can make people equally poor (look at the socialist utopias for that example). When the economy is booming the studs create and prosper which brings them more wealth.

            "fact checking shows Obama had periods of GDP growth bigger than trump ever had"

            Which has nothing to do with what I said assuming that is true. Obama was happy to tell people about the 'new economy' of low growth. Americans were going to have to accept it. Trump doesnt have a magic wand. And then after the economy fired up under Trump tried to claim it was his victory. Obama couldnt see a way out of the low growth.

            "As an intellectual exercise compare America's handling of WTO when it spent the time and effort to control it and implement American trade policies."

            Wtf does that have to do with the WHO refusing to call pandemic because it might upset the Chinese? The WHO claim the Chinese acted swiftly ffs. At no point does the WHO come out looking good because they publicly lied their arses off as a pandemic broke out-

            https://www.cnbc.com/2020/06/02/china-delayed-releasing-coronavirus-info-frustrating-who.html

            "Funnily it seems to be only those countries run by popularist right wing governments that tried to ignore the covid problem that appear to have totally shit canned their economies while killing thousands because they didn't do lock downs properly or early enough."

            Eh? Lockdown has shitcanned countries. Are you calling Sweden popularist right wing? They didnt even bother to lockdown and its sounding like it might have been the right call.

            "Yeah its tough to see how Trump and Boris totally messed up the COVID response unless you actually open your eyes and look but maybe that would take you out of your nice safe space."

            Boris had it right until he panicked and issued a lockdown. As more information comes out it seems it was the better call instead of locking everyone away and watching them break lockdown rules as they cant be enforced for too long. Only for countries to spaff loads of money to fund lockdown (which misses some people out) and harm the economy only to reopen and have a second wave (aka, people catch the damn thing).

            "BTW even Sweeden admits it would do things differently now."

            Even with death rates being better than some of its locked down neighbours. Even though the covid issue isnt over yet because people are coming out of lockdown. Even though Belgium was far stricter and performed far worse. They can say they might have done differently, but by evidence they performed very well and it made more sense, and it is not even over yet.

            https://www.politico.eu/article/sweden-coronavirus-lockdown-paradox/

      2. martinusher Silver badge

        Re: Hmm

        Back in February -- pre-Covid -- I had one of my regular meetings with my 'financial advisor'. The stock market was riding high but the discussion was not about 'if' there was a crash but 'when'. The problem, put simply, was that the Tax Cut and Jobs Act of 2017 had cut taxes but not generated any jobs because the bulk of the cuts went into asset price inflation -- stock buybacks, for example. Its great if you're well off because you become even more well off ('as if by magic') but the inflation not only leaves everyone vulnerable to a correction -- that's the polite name for a crash -- but it also leaves companies comparatively weak so they're less able to weather a downturn.

        Its reckoned that at least a quarter of all US corporations are 'zombies' -- they're sustained by debt that they have no conceivable way of paying off. This problem didn't start with Trump, its been gathering momentum since Dubya (Bush 2 to you) but its very real and we're already seeing a significant number of bankruptcies in the retail and service sectors.

        As a FYI, we figured the crash would occur post election. We were wrong; we were aware of Covid but at the time it was a form of SARS, we didn't realize that it was possible to screw up our response to this that badly (because we hadn't noticed that Trump had dumped the pandemic response team a couple of years back).

    2. mrobaer

      Re: Hmm

      If you look objectively at the economy from Obama's first term until the pandemic hit, you'd see it had been steadily growing. It's the spin that makes you think one way or the other. The reality is that capitalism is fueled by greed, which doesn't care what political party you're aligned with. How many countries don't have massive wealth gaps?

      Social distancing, if actually done, really would help slow the spread. The only outbreaks in the area where I live and work were in long term care facilities. We've had people self quarantine due to symptoms, but so far, we've been 100% operational at work since the beginning of this madness with no reported cases of COVID-19.

  19. DrXym Silver badge

    "operating entirely online"

    Seems like there is a loophole to exploit here - make them come in once a week to pick up a sheet of paper with an assignment on it. It's still kind of stupid to announce this in a middle of a pandemic.

  20. dncnvncd

    Cold War hangovers and perversions

    Just so everyone understands, t this program began as an effort to fight world wide Communism. It was advanced by Republicans in JFK's Cabinet. It's what brought Barack Obama's father to America. The idea was to bring people to America, educate them, inculcate American ideals in them, then send them back to their home countries to become America's advocates. Funny thing happened. In the students absence, their native countries became totalitarian. Then, someone decided it would be good for these people to stay in America for future use in their native country. To that end, these tech students while displacing Americans, don't pay taxes on something called OPT nor do their employers. At last measure, only 3 of 5 American STEM graduates are employed in the field of their education. America has excess brains. Perhaps after a half century, the results of these foreigners staying home and living with the governments they created, may yield results. No American Affirmative Actions or social welfare programs. Maybe all those sensitive government computer contracts could then go to start-ups ran by patriotic Americans instead of Chinese backed entities.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Cold War hangovers and perversions

      "America has excess brains."

      Shame they don't go into politics then. Try and balance out the idiots.

      1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

        Re: Cold War hangovers and perversions

        The real brains are too smart to touch politics with an as-long-as-mechanically-possible stick.

        The brains that DO go into politics are already damaged and the politics itself doubles down on that, creating more idiots. The brightest of that bunch just end up figuring out ways to abuse their power like with graft/corruption and sex sex sex.

  21. holmegm Bronze badge

    Um. If your classes are online, then you don't need to physically be here. It's pretty simple.

    1. doublelayer Silver badge

      Let me let you in on a little secret. The world has a thing called time zones. It means that it's not the same time everywhere on the planet. As a completely random example, imagine that you are going to take an exam which starts at noon and lasts for two hours ... at the university's default campus on the eastern coast of the U.S. Since the university doesn't want students to record the exam as it shows up on their screen and send that to others, everyone has to take it at the same time. If you live in the eastern U.S., you take the test from 12:00-14:00. If the western U.S., it is 9:00-11:00. What if you live in India? It's 22:30-00:30 (10:30 PM to half past midnight). In China, that's 01:00-03:00. In the most populated time zone in Australia, 03:00-05:00.

      Since university schedules tend to include morning and evening classes, anyone outside the Americas is virtually guaranteed to have to completely mess up their sleep schedule to take their classes if there's any real-time component (including taking tests, asking questions, participating in discussions, and many other very normal things for studying). For this reason alone, students may wish to take online courses in a similar time zone to the ones they're recorded in. And that's the most obvious pain point about trying to do a virtual education from the other side of the planet. There are many others.

  22. Daedalus Silver badge

    Damn veeps

    These tech company veeps are complaining about how they won't get qualified (read "cheap") foreign tech workers out of US universities. Pity they could put all their clout, such as it might be, into derailing the dumbing down of the education system at home.

    It's all about the Benjamins!

  23. TheRealRoland
    Mushroom

    The second reason is the first most important reason. The administration doesnt care about schools, universities and students being impacted. They are foreigners anyways, and in the eye of their base, people that are not wanted and are 'stealing our skience!'

    Also, there was a very immediate deadline attached to this ruling; i think students' visa would expire on July 15th? Better leave the country before that date, otherwise you'll be marked for life in US databases as a visa overstayer, and will have additional difficulties traveling back / through the US.

  24. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Sigh. These are students. They would likely be leaving, anyway, and using their US-subsidized education with the competition. There is no "brain drain" from this that affects the US negatively.

  25. Lars Silver badge
    Happy

    What is there not to like (for some)

    The more brain dead the US becomes the more followers Trump will have.

    Dr. Michio Kaku knows what he is speaking about.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NK0Y9j_CGgM

  26. G Olson

    Another biased political article by a biased political hack who thinks he is a technology journalist.

  27. holmegm Bronze badge

    Which is it?

    Is it an immigration program, or a school program?

    -If it's a school program, then why do you need to physically be here to take online classes?

    -But if it's an immigration program, then 1. why not be honest about that, and 2. so *I'm* the racist because *you* want a thinly veiled IQ-based immigration program?

    1. tfb Silver badge
      Alien

      Re: Which is it?

      You need to be there because not all of the purpose of going to university is to sit in lectures. Even within the direct context of doing a course it's easily possible to see that while lectures may not be able to happen, things like supervisions/tutorials may well be able to happen to some extent, access to the library and other facilities that the university provides may well be able to happen to some extent and so on.

      Outside the direct context of the course, people go to university for reasons which are not just 'sitting in a lecture theatre': they also go to be away from home, for instance. And again, while not all of the things students traditionally do may be possible (having sex with lots of other students for instance), some of them still are.

      And of course such programs are also, to some extent, immigration programmes in light disguise. Those programmes are based on qualification: people turn out to want their doctors to be, well, doctors, for instance, and what these people are doing is getting the qualification which certifies some of that.

  28. LateAgain

    Drive-in classes?

    Would that work :-)

    1. My other car WAS an IAV Stryker Bronze badge

      Re: Drive-in classes?

      Students with visas likely don't own cars, in my experience.

  29. mego

    I'm not sure I understand the issue. Foreign exchange is about being here in person, experiencing the culture and being part of the system in person. Under what circumstances should students on such a program NOT return home if that is no longer feasible?

    Additionally, WHAT brain drain? They are not immigrants or otherwise intending to stay and work here, they are students here to study in another culture.

  30. c1ue

    The comments here that I've seen are missing the point.

    This act is just like the Trump tax act removing the federal income tax deductions for state taxes etc: it is 100% aimed at those which don't vote for him.

    The universities are 99% against Trump: the staff, the management and the students altogether. Why shouldn't Trump target the single largest external source of funding for these institutions? The anti-immigrant thing is purely a bonus.

    1. mego

      Firstly, Trump is not and has never been anti-immigrant. He is with damn good reason anti ILLEGAL immigrant. Every western country is anti illegal immigrant

      Secondly, Universities are typically liberal in nature. This is made worse by the fact that professors believe that violence is a suitable answer to being told the truth about gender dysphoria, or even truth about the color of the sky or nature of humanity. Universities actively allow rioting and violence when the minority of republicans ask a republican speaker on campus. So yes, there is a problem there. And yet, Trump doesn't shut them down or do anything in reaction.

      Back on topic. These people are here on specific visas to enable them to share culture, be in class in person, and make physical connections. Online learning is fully capable of sharing information and enabling them to learn - but is not the point of these programs. When the program cannot be achieved due to social distancing, the program needs to be revised and if necessary cancelled.

      I would expect the same treatment if I was here on a work visa and I lost my job and couldn't find another.

  31. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Backfill for Brexit

    UK volunteer's to take the 369,000 students from China so they don't have to take online courses from home like the American students will? Happy to help you reestablish the British economy.

    1. mego

      Re: Backfill for Brexit

      That's a good plan! Maybe they can bring more strains of COVID-19 from their markets...

      Also, the UK is going to force students to return in the new school year. So they will be in person in class.

  32. Winkypop Silver badge
    Megaphone

    The demise of Trump's political career will be televised

    Good whiskey: check

    Popcorn: check

    Streamers and balloons: check

    Drugs: not required, natural high will be enough

  33. Finegancjt
    Flame

    Article is flame bait: A.A.P. Says send kids back to school

    Karen McCormick Likely purposefully omitted noting that American Association of Pediatrics does indeed recommend kids go back to school as a scientifically wise and prudent action! (See New York Times link below) 100 comments react to deliberate Manipulation by article author Karen McCormick who ignored “science” and decided to compromise journalistic principles & tenets to advance personal political agenda, and most comments simply fell for the ruse. Look to the science & do what is best for our kids, even if some politician you consider a jerk agrees with the science and you do choose to ignore science And point finger & call names, exactly what Trump is accused of! Take a long hard look at yourself in the mirror, and reflect on how backwards you appear. You’ve been fooled! Put on shelf your Self-righteous holier-than-thou indignation And Ignore BAD JOURNALISTS and follow the facts...and open eyes & educate yourself & our kids!

    https://www.nytimes.com/2020/06/30/us/coronavirus-schools-reopening-guidelines-aap.html

    1. mego

      Re: Article is flame bait: A.A.P. Says send kids back to school

      No big news there...

  34. caradoc

    This is an astute move by Trump. It's the difference between a politician, which Trump is not, and a businessman, who says, "have it your way, but if you do, this is what happens".

  35. Palf

    This female genital masquerading as a human enjoys 40% approval currently. As a Brit in California, I am nonplussed.

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