STEM: Science, Technology, Espionage, and Math

Parsing Immigration Policy, Episode 65

By Mark Krikorian and George Fishman on August 4, 2022

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Does the large scale admission of foreign students from the People’s Republic of China (PRC) PRC, especially those in STEM fields, pose an economic or security threat to the United States? More than 317,000 Chinese students are present in the country today, representing over one-third of all foreign students. The PRC government considers every one of these students an intelligence asset, and pressures them all to gather whatever intelligence they can during their time in this country.

George Fishman, the Center for Immigration Studies’ senior legal fellow, has been following this issue since 2005, and joins this week’s episode of Parsing Immigration Policy to discuss his recent report on the escalation of students from the PRC studying in the United States, the intelligence collection threat they present, and several steps the United States – and even states – can take to limit the espionage taking place at universities.

But don’t count on American universities to support any regulations or laws that will limit the number of PRC students coming to study and work in the United States. Fishman points out that universities have become reliant on the large population of Chinese students, most of whom pay full tuition. And it is not just universities that will likely lobby against any actions to control the number of PRC students in the country. Fishman explains how even the Biden administration cancelled an effective DOJ China initiative that focused resources on intellectual property theft by the PRC.

In the closing commentary, Mark Krikorian, the Center’s executive director and host of Parsing Immigration Policy, highlights the real employment crisis - the long-term decline in the work participation rate of men, especially those without a college degree. Referencing a recent Center opinion article that discusses the high percentage of prime age (25 – 54 years of age) men not working, Krikorian explains the role mass immigration (legal and illegal) plays in contributing to this situation and in disincentivizing government and private institutions to address the problem.


Mark Krikorian is the Executive Director of the Center for Immigration Studies.


George Fishman is a Senior Legal Fellow for the Center for Immigration Studies.


Report: Science, Technology, Espionage, and Math

How U.S. Foreign Student and Exchange Visitor Policies Undercut National Security

More Evidence of CCP Activism at U.S. Universities

Labor Force participation remains Low in All States

The Real Employment Crisis in Texas


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Intro Montage

Voices in the opening montage:

  • Sen. Barack Obama at a 2005 press conference.
  • Sen. John McCain in a 2010 election ad.
  • President Lyndon Johnson, upon signing the 1965 Immigration Act.
  • Booker T. Washington, reading in 1908 from his 1895 Atlanta Exposition speech.
  • Laraine Newman as a "Conehead" on SNL in 1977.
  • Hillary Clinton in a 2003 radio interview.
  • Cesar Chavez in a 1974 interview.
  • House Speaker Nancy Pelosi speaking to reporters in 2019.
  • Prof. George Borjas in a 2016 C-SPAN appearance.
  • Sen. Jeff Sessions in 2008 comments on the Senate floor.
  • Charlton Heston in "Planet of the Apes".