In a recent article by Carla Tarazi, a Partner in the San Francisco office of BAL, she discusses the concerns and frustrations that U.S. business leaders have expressed as it relates to the impact of what they reference as "outdated and restrictive immigration policies." As they see declining enrollment of foreign students at U.S. universities, they feel that the U.S. is losing out on global talent and that this will have a lasting impact on the ability of U.S. companies to attract and retain international talent in the years ahead.  

Carla references results from The Power of International Education:

"New enrollment of foreign students at U.S. universities dropped by 1% in the 2018-19 school year, 7% in 2017-2018, and 3% in 2016-17. This year, U.S. business schools saw a 13.7% drop in foreign student applicants, while Canada and Europe are increasing their pool of foreign applicants."

This raises concerns that a reduced "talent pipeline of diverse, skilled workers already acclimated to American life and equipped to join the U.S. workforce, especially in STEM fields, where U.S. companies currently have three million unfilled jobs" will have a negative impact on U.S. innovation and overall on the economy. 

Whereas, Canada and the UK are allowing an easy flow of foreign students and allowing them to stay after graduation (for a period) seem to have immigration policy moving in the opposite direction. In a 2018 survey, 83% of U.S. universities cited visa delays and denials as a major concern for lower enrollment.

In her article, Tarazi shares that, "U.S. business leaders are beginning to sound the alarm. Fifty-five deans of U.S. business schools and 15 CEOs of U.S. companies recently signed a letter to President Trump warning that the U.S. is losing global talent because of outdated and restrictive immigration policies." 

As this CNN article explains, American universities are hurting due to fewer international students enrolling. "The continued decline in international student enrollment since the fall of 2016 has cost the U.S. economy $11.8 billion and more than 65,000 jobs, according to estimates from NAFSA: Association of International Educators, an international association of professional educators."

As an FYI, China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia and Canada are the largest sources of international students enrolling into U.S. institutions. 

For more on the topic, try:

Open Doors 2019

The U.S. economy is losing billions of dollars because foreign students aren't enrolling

Talent Mobility and The Global Economy Public Letter