American colleges and universities attract students from all over the world. It is recognized as an honor to be permitted to study at these prestigious institutions. After all, a degree from a top school confers prestige and opens doors to untold opportunities. For foreign students, obtaining crucial skills at an elite university like the Massachusetts Institute for Technology means improving their home countries.
The State Department has prudential authority to revoke student visas under federal law. Foreign students at U.S. universities have no right to remain in the country. If a non-immigrant foreign national admitted under a student visa engages in possible criminal conduct or is suspended from school (and therefore no longer a student), that individual is subject to visa revocation and deportation.
Reports indicate many individuals menacing Jewish students at MIT are foreign nationals on student visas. School officials avoided expelling students who protested in one of the school’s main lobbies recently, even though those individuals had violated the student code of conduct.
MIT President Sally Kornbluth notified the campus that “collateral consequences such as visa issues” have kept school officials from kicking these out of school. Instead, they were placed on non-academic suspension and “will remain enrolled at MIT and will be able to attend academic classes and labs.”
The actions on college campuses in recent weeks go beyond protesting. Time and again, incidents of Jewish students being bullied are permitted with no consequences for the offending parties. At Cornell University, Jewish students were forced to barricade themselves in a school library as angry protesters pounded on doors. Also at Cornell, a professor stated that he was “exhilarated” at the Hamas attacks on Israel.
Hatred toward Jews should not be tolerated — particularly by individuals who enjoy status as privileged guests in our country. Expulsion of foreign national students for violating student codes of conduct and revocation of visas is appropriate.
Administrators often stress that their colleges and universities are safe spaces and that students should not fear for their well-being on campus. But the last several weeks have shown the utter fallacy of these assertions.
Jewish students at MIT, Cornell, Harvard, the University of Virginia, and other elite institutions have been intimidated, bullied, harassed and assaulted. Schools should use every tool at their disposal to punish perpetrators. And the United States owes nothing to those foreign nationals privileged to attend our institutions of higher learning.
It would take only a few instances of suspending and removing individuals attending college on student visas to deter future offenses. Swift and decisive action in the face of brutality will curb further aggression and ensure schools are safe for Jewish students.
Bullies only understand power. Right now, college administrators have the power to expel individuals who seek to destroy not only Israel but the Jewish people. And the State Department has the power to send terrorist allies back to their countries.
The sooner they act, the stronger and safer we will all be.