During my time in graduate school I have noticed that many foreign graduate students basically view graduate school as a way to get into the US that wouldn't normally exist. This creates some fundamental problems that professors take advantage of which, in my opinion, means the entire system needs an overhaul.
These students are often desperate and basically would do anything the professor put in front of them, they are deeply afraid of getting kicked out and sent back regardless of professor demands.
Their wage is still higher here than in their home country.
These two issues combine together to create a very exploitative environment that hurts the entire graduate education system, since
It starts to bias graduate schools to prefer foreign students as a source of cheap labor, since only DoD/classified work is restricted to US students.
It reduces the quality of life for graduate students by allowing professors to demand unreasonable things and lets the schools get away with terrible wages.
How can students effectively lobby for changes in this system - like wage increases - when you are viewed as easily replaceable?