Friday, July 29, 2011

More Kabuki Immigration Enforcement

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has raided another fraudulent university that had been authorized to enroll alien students. ICE has notified the University of Northern Virginia, which enrolls predominately on ethnicity, Indian nationals, that their authority to enroll alien students is being withdrawn.

Dozens of Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents raided offices at the University of Northern Virginia's Annandale campus Thursday.

The University of Northern Virginia is an unaccredited, for-profit private university that calls itself the most popular American university for students from India. Thousands of students are registered at three locations in northern Virginia.

Agents have removed boxes of documents from a building on Little River Turnpike where the university leases two suites.

The university temporarily can't accept any foreign students, reads a notice posted on the door of the offices. UNVA students must leave the country immediately if they are unable “to continue to attend classes and maintain their active status in a manner required by federal government regulations,” the notice reads.

“Today, officials from ICE’s Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) served University of Northern Virginia officials with a Notice of Intent to Withdraw (NOIW) UNVA’s authorization to admit foreign students,” read a statement released by ICE spokeswoman Cori W. Bassett.

The school was told it can no longer participate in that program, but no specific reason was disclosed.

No charges have been filed nor people arrested but the school is being investigated to see whether it conforms to federal regulations for the administration of student visas. Those regulations were tightened after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks.

The school is not closed, and students can attend class.

Foreign-born students at the campus Thursday said they have attended classes in the building and earned degrees from the school. One said the school helps students get their student visas.

If the investigation discovers the school improperly handled student visas, the school could face severe penalties.

Like Tri-Valley Univerity in northern California, UNV is a diploma mill designed to provide entry to the United States to aliens who otherwise would not qualify for student status. Basically they enroll only alien students and provide no education of any description, but do provide ostensible legal status and, eventually, a work authorization document.

However, working with the Indian government, and seeminly under instruction from the Indian Embassy in Washington, ICE has decided to give an amnesty to the students attending the fraudulent school.

New Delhi, July 29: The Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) on Friday assured hundreds of Indian students at the University of Northern Virginia (UNVA) that there will not be a mass termination of their SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) records.

The US Immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had raided UNVA's Annandale administrative offices on Thursday.The ICE officials had removed several boxes of documents from the offices. A notice on the door of UNVA's offices tells students that they must leave the US if they cannot "continue to attend classes and maintain their active status in a manner required by federal government regulations".

In response to a question, MEA official spokesperson Vishnu Prakash said: "We understand that the US Immigration authorities (ICE) served a notice of intent yesterday, on the University of Northern Virginia (UNVA) to withdraw its authorization.

However the University would not be shut down immediately, but would be given a one month notice for explanation." "ICE has kept the Embassy of India in Washington DC briefed, as a very large percentage of the 2400 UNVA students are Indian nationals. It is further understood that there will not be a mass termination of UNVA students SEVIS records," he added.

He further said that the US authorities are taking steps to provide necessary information to help the students transfer to other educational institutions in the US or go back to their home countries. "We have impressed upon the US authorities the need to ensure that the students are not victimized in any manner, since they all have valid documents. We have been told that the focus of investigations is not on the students, but on UNVA itself," Prakash said.

The official spokesperson also said that the Ministry and the Indian Embassy in Washington are closely following the developments, and are in the process of obtaining all details in the matter.

The SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System) is a web-accessible database used by the US Department of Homeland Security to collect, track and monitor information regarding exchange visitors, international students and scholars who enter the US on F, M or J visas.

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) within US Immigration and Customs Enforcement manage it.

In a similar fashion, ICE amnestied the fraudulent students at Tri-Valley University. However, unlike what the Indian Embassy claimed, the students are not legally present if they are attending a post-secondary institute that is not providing the educational program and the students are not attending classes.

On its website ICE all but admits that NVA is a fraud and that most "students" are not attending classes at all:

1. Continue to attend classes and maintain their active status in a manner required by regulations.

As an international student, you have certain responsibilities that you must maintain in order to keep your nonimmigrant student status.

SEVP's rules for studying in the United States include:

1. Attend and pass your classes.
2. Maintain a full course load (don't study part-time unless you have permission from your designated school official).
3. Online or distance learning classes are limited to the equivalent of one class, not to exceed three credits, if requirements of the class do not include oversight of physical presence.
4. Don't work without authorization.
5. Curricular Practical Training is only available if the employment is an integral part of an established curriculum and if the position directly relates to your major area of study and only when there is a letter of agreement from the employer.
6. Notify your DSO if you change your major, program, or degree level.
7. Notify your DSO if you plan to transfer to a new school or take a leave of absence.
8. Notify your DSO within 10 days of moving to a new address.
9. Let your DSO know (before your Form I-20 expires) if you need a program extension.
10. Have you Form I-20 signed by your DSO before travelling outside the United States.
Option 2: Seek transfer to another SEVP-approved institution.

Clearly NVA was using "distance learning" among other strategies, to allow students not to attend classes as one aspect of their fraud. It is much more profitable to not hold classes and maintain a physical plant. Essentially the alien students were paying a fee to an alien smuggler to enter and remain in the U.S. And even after the fraud was found, ICE continues to allow the aliens to remain in violation of the law. And since the whole university is a fraud, then the alien students cannot transfer to another institution, as they are not lawfully present. Aliens present illegally cannot change status to a non-immigrant status.

What we have here is just another aspect of the Obama Administrative Amnesty. Similar to ICE's failure to arrest the illegal aliens working at Chipoltle's. Those illegals remain, as do the illegals attending NVA.

No comments: