An immigration enforcement advocacy organization says Chinese espionage is likely occurring in U.S. student visa programs.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) says the Chinese government's cover-up of its COVID-19 outbreak is among a number of misdeeds that bring into question whether the United States' student visa program with the country has been compromised.
"About one-third of student visas are issued to Chinese nationals," says FAIR's Ira Mehlman. "There has been a history of the Chinese government using this program to help procure technological information and secrets that help them undermine us."
FAIR asserts that many of these students have direct ties to the Chinese military or the ruling regime and that they come to America primarily to acquire the innovative technologies in open academic settings when possible and through espionage when necessary. And Mehlman says this is not the first time this sort of thing has been done against the United States.
"Go back to the 1930s -- Stalin used access to MIT for his spies to be able to advance his agenda and set up a network of spies here in this country," the FAIR spokesman recalls. "So we need to learn from history, and we also need to look at the picture of where we are right now."
American Universities continue to seek out Chinese students as they are required to pay international tuition, which is typically higher than American tuition and can better fund universities. But Mehlman says the Chinese government has clearly been taking advantage of America's student visa system to undermine core interests, so accepting hundreds of thousands of individuals from a repressive, dishonest, and hostile regime does not serve the national interest.