"Sham" U. Students Scrambling to Stay
Sources tell Fox News perhaps as many as 1,000 Tri-Valley University students are scrambling to find a legal visa and avoid deportation.
Join the discussion below, or Read more at liveshots.blogs.foxnews.com.
“A Nation of Legal Immigrants”
Since: Nov 07
Lake City Florida,/ Nebraska
#1 Feb 8, 2011
Feds probe Calif.'sham university' for visa fraud
SAN FRANCISCO - The government of India is urging the United States to show
leniency toward Indian students who were enrolled at a "sham university" in
California that U.S. authorities say was a front for illegal immigration.
The U.S. attorney's office alleges the owner of Tri-Valley University in
Pleasanton used the unaccredited school to charge foreigners millions of
dollars in tuition fees and help them obtain student visas to stay in the
Officials at Tri-Valley did not immediately respond to a request for comment
There were 1,555 students enrolled at Tri-Valley last fall and about 95
percent of them were from India, according to a complaint filed Jan. 19 in
U.S. District Court in San Francisco.
Many of those students, who took Tri-Valley courses online, could be
deported if they are found to be in violation of their immigration status.
Indian officials say the students are being "treated like criminals" by U.S.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents even though they were issued
valid U.S. visas by American consular officials in India.
"I don't think any of them had any idea this was a sham university," said
Susmita Gongulee Thomas, consul general of India in San Francisco. "I don't
think any of them had the motivation to defraud any rules of the U.S.
government ... These students came here genuinely to improve their prospects
and they should not be criminalized or victimized."
Students told Indian consulate officials that they were searched, treated
rudely and handcuffed before being taken into immigration offices for
questioning, Thomas said.
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