Man Without Qualities

Monday, June 24, 2002

Foreign Students Panel Discussion in Washington, D.C.

The Man Without Qualities has received by e-mail a Center for Immigration Studies press release stating that there will be a panel discussion Tuesday (tommorrow) June 25, at 10 a.m. in Room 2200 of the Rayburn House Office Building on a new paper by Harvard economist George Borjas. Readers are invited to evaluate the Press Release, panel discussion and Professor Borjas' paper with their own good judgment.

The Press Release reads as follows:

WASHINGTON (June 2002) -- The foreign student program has come under intense scrutiny since September 11. Not only did 9/11 hijacker Hani Hanjour enter on a student visa, but so did other al Qaeda operatives over the past decade, including the man who rented the truck in the first World Trade Center attack, a top al Qaeda recruiter in the U.S., and Osama bin Laden's business manager. A 1996 law required the development of a system to track foreign students, but university opposition prevented the system from moving beyond the pilot stage. The border security law signed last month by President Bush spelled out further requirements and deadlines for the system.

But a new paper from the Center for Immigration Studies argues that wholesale re-evaluation of the foreign student program is called for "An Evaluation of the Foreign Student Program," by Harvard economist George Borjas, argues that the seemingly sensible, and even noble, aims of the program mask the fact that it fails to serve the national interest.

Among Professor Borjas' findings:

* The total net gain to the economy from the employment of foreign students and foreign graduates is less than $1 billion per year.

* The 275,000 foreign students at public institutions alone receive a subsidy from U.S. taxpayers of about $2.5 billion per year.

* 73,000 U.S. schools have been certified by the INS to accept foreign students, about twice the total number of state-accredited colleges, universities, vocational, and high schools in the country.

Prof. Borjas' paper will be the subject of a panel discussion on Tuesday, June 25, at 10 a.m. in Room 2200 of the Rayburn House Office Building.

The speakers will be:

* George Borjas, Pforzheimer Professor of Public Policy at Harvard University's John F. Kennedy School of Government

* Rep. Tom Tancredo (R-CO), a member of the House Committee on Education and the Workforce, and chairman of the House Immigration Reform Caucus

* Terry W. Hartle, Senior Vice President and Director, Division of Government and Public Affairs, American Council on Education.

The full text of Prof. Borjas' paper will be on line the day of the panel discussion at

For more information, Contact John Keeley at (202) 466-8185 or

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