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Three choices for sham US varsity students; radio tags come off 2 Indians

Thursday February 10, 2011 02:49:54 PM, Arun Kumar, IANS

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Washington: US immigration authorities removed radio tags of a couple of Indian students of a sham university in California as it asked all duped students to contact them directly to find out their options.

Ankle bracelet monitors of two of the 18 tagged students of California-based Tri Valley University (TVU), some 90 percent of them from India, mostly Andhra Pradesh, were removed after they went to Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) with an immigration attorney.

Immigration attorney, Kalpana Peddibhotla plans to take some more Indian students to ICE next week "and is optimistic that this might have positive outcome as well," according to an Indian official.

The students had attended a free legal aid camp organised by the Indian Consulate in San Francisco in association with the South Asian Bar Association.

Over 1,500 TVU students of face the prospect of deportation following the closure of the school on charges of visa fraud unless they can get admission in another institution

For a student to maintain an active immigration status, they must show proof that they are making reasonable process toward completing coursework and physically attend classes.

Meanwhile, ICE has offered the students essentially three options:

First, Report to ICE to be processed for voluntary departure from the United States; Second, departing the US on their own; and

Third, file for reinstatement with US Citizenship and Immigration Services.

The first option allows the students "to leave under their own power on a day of their choice, to remain in the United States without fear of being arrested while waiting to depart, and keeps their immigration history clean," according to ICE spokesman Virginia Kice.

ICE has posted an advisory on the Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP) link on ICE's website -- tell students how to contact an SEVP representative to obtain information about their options.

"When you call, SEVP will provide you with your options including the option to depart from the United States without an otherwise possibly applicable bar to re-admission in the future," says the advisory issued to the TVU students.

ICE has also informed all schools and colleges that SEVP had either cancelled or terminated all initial, active and transfer-in student records associated with TVU.

If a former TVU student applies for acceptance at another school, it is the responsibility of the school/college authorities to obtain an enrolment application and all subsidiary documents typically requested in order to make an admissions decision, including an assessment of the student's finances.

"And they must maintain these documents in the F-1 student's academic record," the memo to schools said.

"If a student gains admission, a designated school official should contact the SEVP Help Desk at 800-892-4829 or to manage the student record. Do not initiate a new SEVIS record for the student," it said.

ICE has also informed schools and colleges across the country that the employment authorisation for F-1 students at TVU terminated Jan 19.

According to a federal complaint filed in a California court in January, the University helped foreign nationals illegally acquire immigration status.

The complaint alleged that while students were admitted to various residential and on-line courses of the university and on paper lived in California, in reality they "illegally" worked in places as far away as Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania and Texas.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at





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