By HanYing Jiang and Williams Mejia
Madison, WI and New Brunswick, NJ
Though President Trump’s approval rating is extremely low, some people interviewed on a recent Friday evening in downtown Princeton grudgingly admitted that he has a few redeeming qualities.
Pranav Bachu, a student at the University of Illinois, said he saw “some rationale” for Trump’s strong anti-immigration views. Although he believes that Trump’s perspective on immigration restriction is too extreme, he did agree that some more vetting is needed, citing claims of Indian students applying for visas through falsified information.
Bachu was referring to the H-1B program, which gives almost 900,000 immigrants U.S. work visas, according to the New York Times. Trump has stated on multiple occasions that he wishes to tighten the program.
But Bachu’s friend, Santhosh Paramasivan, a student in Texas, believes that Trump is “playing on a fine line between discrimination and protection of the welfare of the country.” He described a friend who fled from Pakistan due to religious persecution, questioning whether his friend would have qualified for a visa under Trump’s proposed reform of the H-1B program.
Lupa Polishchuk, a systems manager at a finance company, asserted that “I don’t like anything” about the Trump administration. But a few moments later, she conceded that there could be one upside: Stronger immigration restrictions would leave Americans with more job opportunities.
Princeton residents also expressed concern about broader changes in the country under Trump. Yan Liu, a Princeton University alumnus who is now a research assistant, said that he was disappointed by the social regression under Trump that has led many Americans to be more willing to express extreme views.
When asked whether Trump had any positive attributes, Liu pointed to Trump’s reaction to the bombing of Syrian children in April. “He’s a person who can be influenced by someone else’s suffering, and that’s good enough for me,” he said.
Overwhelmingly, however, Princeton residents were highly critical of Trump and his administration. As Polishchuk’s partner, Vladimir Khazak, a scientist from Russia, put it: “I’ve lived in this country for 25 years. This is the worst administration I’ve seen so far.”