In April of 2018, NAFSA released an "International Student Economic Value Tool" which quantifies the economic contributions of international students and their families to the U.S. economy. During the 2016-17 academic school year, it was estimated that international students studying in the U.S. contributed over $36 billion and more than 450,000 jobs to the U.S. economy.
Despite the economic and cultural value that international students bring, the number of arriving international students declined in 2017 as a result of anti-immigrant rhetoric and more stringent immigration policies in the U.S. In response, Rhode Island Senator Sheldon Whitehouse has spoken out about the importance of international students using #YouAreWelcomeHere. In addition, Representative David Cicilline gave a statement in support of international students, explaining "Cross-cultural exchange between international students and U.S. students creates mutual respect for cultural differences." To read Rep. Cicilline's statement in full, click here.