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November 19, 2001
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US varsities oppose freeze on student visas

T V Parasuram in Washington

A proposal to freeze foreign student visas for six months in the wake of the September 11 terror strikes has been rejected by American universities, which feel the country has more to gain financially and academically from foreign students, including those from India.

Senator Dianne Feinstein (Democrat, California) had recently proposed a moratorium on the visas, saying potential terrorists could use the route to enter the United States. It is believed that some of the 19 hijackers who carried out the terrorist attacks in New York and Washington on September 11 had arrived on student visas.

Lobbying hard against the visa-moratorium move, university officials argued that having an international campus was beneficial both for any American university as well as for the countries sending the students, particularly in an increasingly globalised world.

They pointed out that students educated in the US most often return home imbued with American ideals of democracy, gender equality and rule of law. They want to make their own countries as prosperous as America, and this is to the benefit of business in both countries.

Besides, the officials said revenue from foreign students is also very important. Students account for only 2 per cent of all visa-holders and the number of students from countries identified as breeding grounds for terrorism is also very low.

PTI

America's War on Terror: The Complete Coverage
The Attack on US Cities: The Complete Coverage

The Terrorism Weblog: Latest Stories from Around the World

External Link:
For further coverage, please visit www.saja.org/roundupsept11.html

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