May 1, 2019 - Issue: Vol. 165, No. 71 — Daily Edition116th Congress (2019 - 2020) - 1st Session
IMPORTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS IN THE UNITED STATES; Congressional Record Vol. 165, No. 71
(Extensions of Remarks - May 01, 2019)
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[Extensions of Remarks] [Page E516] From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office [www.gpo.gov] IMPORTANCE OF INTERNATIONAL STUDENTS AND SCHOLARS IN THE UNITED STATES ______ HON. ELIOT L. ENGEL of new york in the house of representatives Wednesday, May 1, 2019 Mr. ENGEL. Madam Speaker, today is National Decision Day. It is an exciting time of year for students as they commit to colleges across the United States. I rise to speak in support of the international scholars who choose to attend our American academic institutions. Their presence in the U.S. is an asset to our country's culture and economy. While the Department of State's annual Open Doors report states that the United States is still the top location for international students, a concerning statistic shows that new international student enrollment declined by 6.6 percent during the 2017-2018 school year. The congressional district I represent greatly benefits from international student enrollment in our local colleges and universities. In addition to their intellectual and research contributions, these students make an annual financial contribution of $52.2 million dollars and support the creation of several hundred jobs each year. We're at risk of losing this valuable talent and the benefits they bring to the residents of New York's 16th District. But it's not just my district that will suffer--the entire country will. Although they only make up 5.5 percent of higher education enrollment in the United States, the economic value that international students have on our economy is significant. In the 2017-2018 academic year alone, international students studying at U.S. colleges and universities contributed $39 billion to the U.S. economy and supported over 450,000 jobs. For every seven international students enrolled, three U.S. jobs are created and supported through spending in the higher education, health insurance, and transportation sectors, among others. International education doesn't just foster economic benefits; it advances learning and scholarship. Students want to come to the United States because they know that this country has some of the world's greatest educational opportunities. However, as a result of delays in processing student visas in recent years, many international scholars have decided to study in other countries, such as Canada and Australia, which have more welcoming policies. As a result, our country is missing out on incredible talent, and students are foregoing the opportunity to study in one of the best education systems in the world. As the Chairman of the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, I am grateful for the work international students are doing every day to strengthen ties with countries around the world. International education develops cultural understanding and respect among different peoples. We need to send the message that international students and scholars who want to study in the United States are welcome. I urge my colleagues to work with me in ensuring that the United States continues to be the world's best destination for academic study. ____________________