Indians And Immigration Fraud—Pleasanton "University" Bust For Issuing Hundreds Of Bogus Student Visas

One of the complaints about immigrants has to do with crowding—too many people in one residence. However, when an online "university" in Pleasanton, CA, reported 450 students residing in one apartment, immigration authorities got suspicious. (There were actually four.)

Tri-Valley University called 'sham,' accused of immigration fraud, By Sophia Kazmi, San Jose Mercury News, January 20, 2011

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.

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"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.

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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.

Physically attend classes is what they haven't been doing--the Mercury-News quotes a professor who says he's been teaching online classes, but they could take those classes from their homes in Andhra Pradesh.

Speaking of which, The Hindu reports from India that 'Students facing deportation have options'.[By Narayan Lakshman, January 27, 2011] Oh, yes, they do have options. As Juan Mann has written, immigration appeals aren't considered over "until the alien wins."

The Hindu apparently contacted the law office of Sheela Murthy, (Ms. Murthy is an immigrant herself ) and she had several suggestions, the last one of which was "get an employer to file an H1-B visa... or change over to a spouse-dependent visa where a spouse has a valid visa in the U.S.”

I don't think these should work, but she knows better than I do. This is especially true of the H1-B Visa, since they will have been working illegally on their student visa, which is something their employer should have realized was illegal anyway.