Don't Kick Russian Students Out of the U.S.

Politicians calling for their expulsion have it wrong. We shouldn't deprive Russian students of the opportunity to engage with American ideals and culture.


Russian President Vladimir Putin is carrying out a brutal invasion of Ukraine, and the international community has largely united to punish him for it. In addition to the sanctions on Moscow and the military aid to Kyiv that the United States has already approved, some American politicians are suggesting more pointed measures.

"Frankly, I think…kicking every Russian student out of the United States," said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D–Calif.) on CNN last week, should "be on the table." Rep. Ruben Gallego (D–Ariz.) backed him up, tweeting, "These Russian students are the sons and daughters of the richest Russians. A strong message can be sent by sending them home."

This is a misguided proposal that will drive a wedge between the U.S. and people who would be well-served by American values. Rather than expelling Russian nationals who are uninvolved in the sins of their government, we should be welcoming them with open arms and encouraging them to engage with our values.

Some 5,000 Russian students were studying at American universities in 2021, according to the Institute of International Education. Demand among young Russians to study abroad has grown steadily over the past several decades. In 2019, roughly 75,000 Russians were attending foreign universities, at least four times higher than the early 2000s level. As of 2015, the U.S. ranked only behind Germany as the top destination for Russian students completing their educations abroad.

Even during the days of the Soviet Union, the U.S. recognized the importance of maintaining cultural exposure. America welcomed "some fifty thousand…scholars and students, scientists and engineers, writers and journalists," and others from the Soviet Union under exchange programs between 1958 and 1988, per former U.S. diplomat Yale Richmond. Cold War–era exchange programs "fostered changes that prepared the way for [Mikhail] Gorbachev's glasnost, perestroika, and the end of the Cold War," Richmond argued. President Dwight D. Eisenhower even "wanted to bring 10,000 Soviet students to the United States" at one point, according to Richmond.

It's true that Russians from influential and wealthy families seek out an American education. But to claim that each of the 5,000 Russian students here is rich—and that sending them all home would hit Putin where it hurts—is simply incorrect. And if massive, debilitating sanctions meant to cut Russia off from the global economy haven't yet convinced Putin to stop his assault on Ukraine, it's hard to see how expelling Russian students would. "The more likely outcome," Stuart Anderson of Forbes writes, "would seem to be ruined education plans and sympathetic coverage in Russian state media of young people, it would be argued, who were unfairly targeted by the U.S. government."

Anderson points out, correctly, that a blanket expulsion policy would harm some Russian students fleeing persecution themselves. A stark example: the daughter of Alexei Navalny, the Russian dissident who was poisoned, dubbed a terrorist, and imprisoned after becoming the face of the opposition. His daughter Daria is a student at Stanford University and would be caught in the dragnet of the punitive, ill-targeted policy Swalwell and Gallego have proposed. There is no earthly way that her expulsion would harm the regime intent on punishing her father.

Swalwell has softened his posture to a degree, calling more specifically for the expulsion of "oligarchs' kids with student visas." Still, the U.S. should be welcoming Russian students with open arms and allowing them to stay on American soil if they wish to do so. Russia is already in severe population decline, having lost 1 million people in 2021. Offering refuge to Russian nationals who wish to live away from the repressive regime is a prime way for the U.S. to bolster its own economy while depriving Putin of the brainpower that fuels Russia's industries. Not every student will stay, and some may be connected to Russia's oligarch class, but they should not be kept from an American education and the values it might instill.

U.S. history is replete with examples of the ill effects that result from punishing, expelling, or detaining people purely based on their ethnicities or governments. Beyond an American education, Swalwell and Gallego's proposal would deprive Russian students of the opportunity to engage with American ideals and culture—and the opportunity to experience more openness and democracy than they may ever encounter under Putin.

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  1. Lol

    The guy banging a Chinese spy wants to expel Russians.

    Our country is a fucking joke.

    1. Swalwells a sleazy, greazy, liberal fuck.

      But he's right about this. And we should do it with Chinese students as well.

      Communist nations, especially adversarial ones, should not have access to America's greatest treasure. Our research and engineering.

      And there's plenty of other Asians, Indians, middle easterners, and South Americans to fill the vacancies.

  2. In the name of feminism, I'd support giving passports to the Russian women I've met under the age of 35.

    Also, Ukrainian, Swedish, and Colombian women under 35.

    Do it the name of feminism. Please.

    1. A 35 yo Russian woman looks like a 60 year old American. Smoking, drinking, and manual labor take a toll.

      1. It's for feminism.

      2. I was going to say they look like old potatoes. Old Russian women all kinda have that smushed, caved in looking face.

      3. you obviously haven't been to the right websites

  3. Swalwell has softened his posture to a degree, calling more specifically for the expulsion of "oligarchs' kids with student visas."

    But any hot Russian women attached to the FSB or GRU should give him a call.

  4. It might do Fiona's career a plus if they assigned her ANY OTHER TOPIC now and again. She's so one note I've said before, I think she and OBL are working in tandem.

    1. Fiona is cute Shikha.

      1. But then she started talking and I lost all interest.

  5. You lost me at "brutal invasion". Why the superfluous adjective? Are there non-brutal invasions, perhaps mostly peaceful invasions?

    It's right on a par with "horrific". Both, and many others, are used to signal that the author does indeed disapprove of the noun following, BUT .... here's something wrongly connected.

    There was a brutal home invasion last night, but the home-owner should not have chased the invaders.

    The police killed a shoplifter who refused to stop, but bystanders said he was not resisting.

    Just stop it. Lose the adjectives. Most adjectives are no nearly as useful as the authors think. If I were an editor, my nickname would be No Adjectives.

  6. “With Arms Wide Open” -Fiona -Creed

  7. Everyone knows they are all here studying how to make weapons.

  8. What if they're unvaccinated or refuse to wear a mask?

  9. Vice president on a podcast this morning... this is not made up.

    Q: “What’s going on in Ukraine?”

    Kamala: “Ukraine is a country in Europe. It exists next to another country called Russia. Russia is a bigger country. Russia decided to invade a smaller country called Ukraine so basically that’s wrong.”

    1. I was going to call you out - no link provided - but I found it in 20 seconds. OMG. That IS a direct quote from a sitting VP.

      1. Can someone provide a link to this?

          1. I don't wanna be that guy, but I'm gonna be that guy, to my ear (and I have a pretty good ear for these things) there feels like a subtle audio edit between

            "Ukraine is a country in Europe... it exists next to another country called Russia" and another possible cut between that and the next statement.

            Make no mistake, Kamala harris is WAY the fuck out of her depth on this situation, but I'm going to continue to look for the audio direct from this podcast, and not from a twit account called RNC Research.

            But... BUT, if that was what she said, then yeah, we got exactly what we ordered.

          2. Well, fuck me. I just found the original audio from whatever this show is called "The Morning Hustle" and yeah, even in context around that 20 second audio, there's absolutely nothing redeemable about her comments. Who knows, given the tenor of the show, it's clearly a wildly pro-Harris podcast full of carefully crafted "urbanisms" "Yo, out here in these streets" while talking to Harris "Getting homeboys in on the action [in regards to a draft]".

            So make of that what you will.

            So anyhoo, whether the Morning Hustle edited her comments-- they have a bit of a "Morning Zoo" vibe about their broadcast so it's possible they edited her comments for speed and punch (not uncommon in the industry) cutting out the "mmhmms, ums". I noticed her answers come VERY quickly after the question which felt... unnatural to me. Either way, it's retardville all the way down.

            1. Twitchy had the original audio link at the bottom =)

              1. You're right it did. So all that work for nothing.

            2. "edited her comments for speed and punch"

              That's her speaking style. Someone must have told Harris that using her "the fish was this big" hands engages an audience, starting an answer before the question is done makes everyone think she knows her shit and stating the obnoxiously obvious with pointless dramatic pauses gives her credibility.

              They forgot to tell her that actually knowing your shit is far more effective and people don't like it when she's talking down to them.

      2. When have I not provided a link to an assertion or direct quote?

    2. That could be a fun game.

      "What's going on in Canada?"

      "What's up with inflation?"

      "Where do babies come from?"

      I'd love to hear Kamala's takes on these things, but only if she talks to me like I'm 5 years old.

      1. I think 4 might be the upper limit of her capabilities

      2. but only if she talks to me like I'm 5 years old.

        Good politicians tailor their comments to their voters.

        1. I know this wasn't your intent but you just implied that I might vote for Kamala Harris.

          What did I ever do to you?

    3. That is how they are selling it, but the absurd part is that is exactly how people are buying it.

      1. To be fair, though more simply delivered, her statement is pretty much the extent of what most around here think...

        1. Still... she should have just kept her front-hole shut...
          hmmm... i guess if she did that she wouldnt have gotten to where she is now...

          Still... she should have just kept her trap shut...
          -that doenst work either! ... i give up.

  10. Я согласен! We shouldn’t expel Russian college kids from the country. But if the powers that be insist on it, then we must insist on one condition—these kids have to take the bulk of college administrators back to Russia with them! (Can you tell I’m anti-Putin?)

    1. Exactly. They are not imbibing American culture they are imbibing a leftist academic culture that hates America.

    2. You might be able to sell me on world War III if it means expelling/eliminating a whole bunch over over-employed leftists

      1. I disagree with much you have posted about the Chekist Putin…but yes, that might clear the air….

      2. If I fart in Russias general direction will it cause ww3?

        I bet you'd have to think real hard about saying no.

  11. As a people, we are so good at coming up with what other people should do about the most important topics of interest.

    1. Yes, but Fiona is about age 23 and she's got a 'one opinion fits all subjects' approach to everything. One can expect that out of the bright-eyed and bushy-tailed 'just graduated and I know it all' upstarts, which is almost cute in a bug-in-the-rug kinda way. Annoying like listening to your child tell you the same joke over and over again, but still cute.

      What isn't cute is that Reason agrees that publishing her one-trick pony articles is a good idea. It's like letting your 5 year old choose what's for dinner every night. It's guaranteed to be pizza... again... and not even the good kind.

  12. Don't kick them out - be polite and deport every foreign student except for the top .01% IQ, STEM and aptitude. There are no good reasons to educate anyone else other than Americans. All they ever say is 'diversity, culture, tolerance ' but we are the most diverse so we don't need to bring them here. They want the cheaper labor, period end of story.

  13. I guess Swalwell wants to make room for more Chinese spies. Those honeypots don't just grow on trees, you know.

    Seriously, this crap is getting on par with the stupidity in the run-up to Iraq. And, at least there, the American people had some sort of a horse in that race.

    1. Well, he slept with one already, what's a few more?

    2. It's already way worse.
      I just saw someone call Putin a war criminal for "targeting civilians, using cluster bombs, vacuum bombs". Umm, maybe check the tape of literally any US military campaign over the last 20 years...
      Besides, Ukraine's own (inflated) casualty numbers really don't support the assertion that civilians are being heavily, or even particularly, targeted at all.

      1. Both things are possible, Jesus christ youre being retarded.

        Have you been following the live updates on Twitter? Do you know any Ukrainians? You can find live/current videos all over Twitter before the graphic ones are removed. You can find people in Ukraine reaching out all over media with near live time updates. Tim Dillon even had a Ukrainian comedian on his last podcast, live, whose stuck in a bunker there

        You're literally, with no evidence, trying to justify Putins sloppy, mismanaged, haphazard, invasion of a sovereign nation that's already killed far more innocent people than combatants... Because you think the numbers of the dead innocent Ukrainians are being inflated.

        Jesus christ youre pathetic. Not everything is a neocon MIC conspiracy you stupid fuck.

      2. Also, apparently you're too retarded to realize that "vacuum bombs" or thermobaric weapons are outlawed and their use is considered a war crime.

        Even with all the horrible shit our MIC has done in the last 20 years, I don't recall any time we've been accused of using illegal weapons or thermobaric bombs.

  14. “ This is a misguided proposal that will drive a wedge between the U.S. and people who would be well-served by American values. Rather than expelling Russian nationals who are uninvolved in the sins of their government, we should be welcoming them with open arms and encouraging them to engage with our values.”

    Uhh, has Reason not read its own coverage of what is being taught at American Universities lately?

  15. send them to Keeeeeeeev instead

      1. Prosti.

      2. Best keeb bobs there.

    1. Didn't we stuff him in a locker once?

  16. I'd like to see how Москва would retaliate against the US if this came to pass.

  17. "Frankly, I think…kicking every Russian student out of the United States," said Rep. Eric Swalwell (D–Calif.) on CNN last week, should "be on the table." Rep. Ruben Gallego (D–Ariz.) backed him up, tweeting, "These Russian students are the sons and daughters of the richest Russians. A strong message can be sent by sending them home."

    Borders matter again, I guess.

  18. Do the Democrats want to put them in camps instead?

  19. We shouldn't deprive Russian students of the opportunity to engage with American ideals and culture.

    Why would we expect exposure to our schools to improve Russians?
    Our school swill teach them America sucks even if they have to promote lies like the 1619 Project to do so.

    But Russians can already learn to hate America in Russia. In fact many of the lies left wingers tell about America were invented in Russia. For them to benefit wouldn't we need to offer them something different?

    1. In America, it's easy to find a party! But in Russia, party find you!

  20. What we should do is offer asylum to any defecting Russian soldier, from what I am seeing other than the spec ops solders the rest are conscripts that would probably jump at the chance to get the heck out of Russia. Give Putin a reason to pull the soldiers out now and save face.

    1. Mmm, yeah, that's an idea. I'm sure that former KGB Officer Putin couldn't figure out a way to exploit that plan. Right in there with swallowing the heroin so the feds can't find it.

      1. This.

        People need to realize the cold war against communism never ended. We just tried to play nice for a few decades and it just let them get stronger and rebuild. Both Russia and China have and constantly are trying to get spies over here. Swalwell and fang fang, the Russian chick that got into the NRA and major republican donor groups 2 years ago. The Chinese spies kicked from that university in Canada at the beginning of covid. The viroligist guy from Harvard getting sentenced for not reporting his income from china. Etc etc.

        Communist nations, specifically China and Russia, are making runs on the planets rarest resources. A soft libertarian would say who cares what they do. But in reality we need maintain our access to these same rare elements (and energy) and not allow them to become leverage over our industries. Because that's what they're doing this for. China isn't going after the world's cobalt reserves because they want to share it with everyone.

        Besides the metals and grain, Ukraine is very important in producing large volumes of neon gas that is then used in lasers. And specifically the kind used to etch semi conductors and micro chips.

        We know how important Taiwan is for semi conductor production if it falls to China as well.

        We can either recognize the strategic game at play here and be a participant in the game. Or we can sit back and allow adversarial communist nations to control larger and larger swaths of critical resources and industries as they gain leverage over us.

  21. When is Reason going to stop mewling to the corrupt monsters in power "Please stop being corrupt monsters"? This "the government should back off" at the end of every article is unsatisfying to the point of being maddening. Please offer real solutions. Stockpile ammo, I don't care, but figure something out FFS, time is running out here.

  22. Ship the spawns of Vlad's oligarch friends to Ukraine so they can be used as human shields.

  23. Kick Canadians out too!

  24. Russians are an easy target for democrats because 2016 and the fact they are white and mostly Christian. If they were brown skinned and/or muslim they wouldn’t dare say “kick them out!”

  25. Why are we pretending that an American university is a place where one can encounter American values?

    1. While the majority is garbage. I doubt most Russian n Chinese students are here for gender studies.

      The vast majority are here for science or engineering, things we still do very well despite the wokesters running the campuses. And I'm. Perfectly fine kicking the engineering and science majors out. I believe Americas technology and engineering is our greatest asset, our greatest competitive advantage. And there no reason to share it with communists. Or anyone opposed to liberty really.

      Hell if we kick out a bunch of white Russians and chinamens then we could bring a bunch of brown Indians and South Americans to fill the vacancies. Where's shikha when you need her?!

  26. YES, SEND THEM BACK. The West's response to Russia needs to be a DIKE not a SIEVE. Make them pariahs - let them know what it is like to be a leper. The students can bring back memories of a free country compared to a frozen, decrepit tomb. Facilitate Putin's fall from power. Don't do ANYTHING to give them respite. Are the Ukrainians getting any comfort from Putin? The message is clear, if your leaders disrupt the world order, you will eat shoe leather.

  27. Can we give a pass and special amnesty to Russian escorts?

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