The Sept. 23 editorial “A message of hostility” listed many of the important reasons the Trump administration’s policy to discourage foreign students from coming to the United States is wrong and hurts the nation, but it overlooked the most important reason, one that will hurt the United States for decades to come: Foreign students in university graduate programs, especially in science, technology, engineering and math fields, make up the majority of the student body in most research universities. With no foreign students, universities will perhaps need to close down half of all graduate programs and research labs and fire half their professors and administrative staffs.

According to a 2017 New York Times article, about 80 percent of graduate students at New York University’s Tandon School of Engineering are international. NYU may be an exception, but the article also cited a 2015 survey by the Council of Graduate Schools and the Graduate Record Examinations Board that 55 percent of all U.S. graduate students in mathematics, computer science and engineering are international students. At Duke University in 2017, which has students from some 90 countries, 79.7 percent of students seeking master’s degrees in physical sciences and engineering were international. In a 2017 report, the National Foundation for American Policy, a nonprofit focused on immigration, trade, education and other policy issues, found that 81 percent of full-time graduate students in electrical and petroleum engineering programs and 79 percent in computer science at U.S. universities are international. Need we say more?

Vinod Jain, Ashburn