U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) recently raided a fraudulent post-secondary educational institution, Tri-Valley University, and the U.S. Attorney's Office issued an indictment of the owner of the University, Susan Su. TVU issued Form I-20A-B, Certificate of Eligibility for Nonimmigrant (F-1) Student Status-For Academic and Language Students, that enable's an alien to apply for and receive a student visa. In 2010 TVU students received over 900 visas.
PLEASANTON -- A Pleasanton university that catered to mostly online students is being called a sham by federal prosecutors who say the university was a front to illegally provide immigration status to foreign nationals.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents on Wednesday were at the Tri-Valley University campus on Boulder Court in Pleasanton and executed search warrants at three other properties owned by school founder Susan Su, including one in the gated Ruby Hill community.
The complaint, filed by the U.S. District Attorney's Office [sic It is the United States Attorney's Office. ed.] on Wednesday, claims Su was part of an elaborate scheme to defraud, using false statements and misrepresentations to the Department of Homeland Security.
"Since its inception ... Tri-Valley University has been a sham university, which Su, and others, have used to facilitate foreign nationals in illegally acquiring student immigration status that authorizes them to remain in the United States," the complaint reads.
According to the complaint, Su and Tri-Valley University have made millions of dollars in tuition fees for issuing the visa-related documents, enabling foreign nationals to obtain illegal student immigration status.
Calls to Tri-Valley University were not returned.
ICE began its investigation in May 2010. The institution received is approval to issue visas in February 2009 and had the approval for about 30 students. In May 2009 the school had 11 active students that had received F-1 visas, and 939 by May 2010.
According to the complaint, more than 95 percent of students were from India. For more than half of them, the university reported their address was a single apartment in Sunnyvale. The apartment manager told ICE agents that four university students lived there from June 2007 to August 2009 and none since.
Investigators believe TVU reported that most of its students live at the apartment to conceal they don't live in the state.
For a student to maintain the immigration status, they must show proof they are making reasonable process toward completing coursework and physically attend classes.
One of the school's professors, who did not want his name used, said Thursday he was shocked by the investigation. He said he taught online courses out of his home since 2009 and he said his experience with the university has been positive.
"I teach high quality courses and my students are good students and that's all I can tell you," he said.
He said classes were supposed to restart Jan. 10 after winter break, but there was a delay. He said he got an email from Su on Thursday that said classes would begin soon.
After 9/11 it was discovered that most of the "Magnificent 19", as Muslims call them, were in the U.S. on student visas and Mohammed Atta and another hijacker had their student visas extensions approved after 9/11. The legacy INS promised to clean up the student visa mess and claimed they would physically inspect every school authorized to issue Form I-20s. The successor Department of Homeland Security also claimed that such fraud was its top priority and would only approve real institutions.
However it appears that promise was a lie. TVU was able to operate without a physical location and no instructors. Everything about TVU was a fraud, but neither ICE or U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services inspected TVU before they authorized it to issue I-20s. Due to ICE's and USCIS' oversights, there are now hundreds of illegal aliens in the U.S. And we don't know if one or more of them are another "Magnificent 19."
Of course, ICE is claiming a major success, but they appear to have arrested no one, only executed search warrants. No illegal aliens have been arrested, much like the paper raids that ICE is performing on those who hire illegal aliens. Raids that result in no arrests and allow the illegal aliens to remain in the U.S. indefinately.