International student education represents a large and lucrative industry in many developed countries. Beyond the tuition fees and human capital they bring, international students represent a valuable pool of skilled immigrants for governments wishing to recruit into their labor force people who are presumed to already have advanced knowledge of the host-country language and traditions and who represent tried and tested individuals. As a result, countries increasingly have been seeking innovative policies to attract and retain international students.
President Obama actively utilized the powers of the executive to reshape U.S. immigration policy in 2015. From signature deportation relief programs and changes to visa waiver eligibility to new grants of Temporary Protected Status and revised enforcement priorities, the administration made sweeping changes that touch all aspects of U.S. immigration policy. The actions prompted pushback, however, with 26 states suing to halt implementation of new deferred action programs.
Indian immigrants represent the second-largest origin group in the United States, accounting for 4.7 percent of the total foreign-born population. Generally high-skilled and highly educated, more than half of Indian immigrants have arrived since 2000 and largely attain green cards through employment-based pathways. Indians account for 70 percent of H-1B petitions and are the second-largest group of international students in the United States.