Islamophobia, Immigration Policy, and International Student Mobility in the Trump Era



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The election of Donald Trump as the 45th President of the United States on November 8, 2016 set forth a wave of immigration policy changes that would shape the coming years of U.S. international student mobility. Executive Order 13769, known as the Trump travel ban, which was enacted within the same week of President Trump’s 2017 inauguration, had immediate consequences for all international students, but particularly those from Muslim-majority countries. The purpose of this dissertation is to investigate the changes in international student mobility to U.S. institutions as a function of student country of origin (non-Muslim-majority countries, Muslim-majority countries not included by the travel ban, and countries included in the travel ban) and institutional status (elite or non-elite). Grounded in a conceptual framework comprised of Integrated Threat Theory (Stephan & Stephan, 2000) and Theory of Choice (Hargreaves Heap et al., 1992), this study explored the aforementioned changes using custom data from the IIE Open Doors Report (IIE, 2020) from AY2014-2015 to AY2019-2020. Findings and implications for institutions and policy makers are discussed.



International students, U.S. immigration policy, Donald Trump, Trump Administration, 2016 U.S. presidential election, Executive Order 13769, Trump travel ban, Muslim international students, Elite institutions