Dallas, TX (Law Firm Newswire) June 26, 2020 – The Trump Administration issued a proclamation on May 29, 2020, that blocks the entry into the United States of certain Chinese students and researchers associated with universities and institutions in the People’s Republic of China (PRC) that have links to the Chinese military. The new restrictions apply to graduate-level or postgraduate students, as well as postdoctoral researchers from the PRC seeking to enter the United States on F or J visas.
“The proclamation purports to deny U.S. admission to graduate or higher level students and researchers that have had connections to certain PRC entities which support or implement PRC’s ‘military-civil fusion strategy,’” said Stewart Rabinowitz of the Dallas and Frisco law firm of Rabinowitz & Rabinowitz, P.C. “That strategy is to obtain foreign, cutting-edge technologies to further PRC’s military capabilities.”
“Certain questions are obvious. First, how can the U.S. definitively know which PRC entities may act in this manner? Second, look at the exclusions — that is persons to whom the proclamation does not apply — undergraduates, U.S. green card holders, spouses of green card holders or U.S. citizens,” added Rabinowitz. “If the goal is to deny PRC the opportunity to steal emerging technologies by limiting who can come to the U.S. and have access to such technologies, then why allow broad classes of persons who may be connected to military-fusion strategic work to continue to be admitted? It doesn’t make sense.”
While the proclamation does not go as far as declaring that Chinese nationals in the United States with ties to PRC military-affiliated institutions would have their visas canceled, it grants the Secretary of State the authority to review whether their F or J status should be revoked. However, there are no details provided as to what criteria will be used to make the determinations. The proclamation also does not specify which universities or entities would be deemed to have problematic affiliations with the PRC military for visa issuance purposes.
The proclamation took effect on June 1, 2020, and will remain in place until the president terminates it. The new visa restrictions are based on the premise that the PRC is involved in “wide-ranging and heavily resourced” efforts to obtain “sensitive” U.S. technologies and intellectual property to enhance the Chinese military’s capabilities, putting the “economic vitality” of the United States and the “safety and security” of its people at risk.