Indian Students Are Being Deported, What Could Be the Reason?
International students, especially Indians have recently been denied entry into the US. We look into the reasons.
Over 60 Indian students with valid F-1 student visas and the required I-20 forms issued by the US consulates and their respective universities have been sent back to the country.
The reasons for deportation, or denial of entry into the US, range from admission to a ‘blacklisted’ university, an undecided major and even being unable to cover the cost of living without working.
Statement by Silicon Valley University, one of the allegedly blacklisted institutes
CBP is just implementing stricter screening security measures, which are not specific to SVU students, but to all international students entering the US.
There seems to be a dysfunction between the consulates in India and the border agents in the US, say informed sources.
The trend began to get noticed two weeks after a Pakistani couple opened fire in San Bernardino, California. Almost immediately after, Air India was asked to fly back 19 Indian students who had come to join two allegedly ‘blacklisted’ dodgy schools.
One of the alleged blacklisted universities, Northwestern Polytechnic University (NPU), released a statement saying the university was not blacklisted by the US government and blaming the mess on the “actions of Air India.”
Peter Hsieh, NPU President
As you may know, Northwestern Polytechnic University (NPU) has been inundated by false rumors of blacklisting and similar accusations. I write this letter to again reassure everyone that NPU is not blacklisted and not under any sort of governmental investigation or targeting.
The airline has reported to have resumed bringing in Indian students provided they commit to pay for their return in case they were not allowed to enter.
A Times of India reporter visited both universities only to find out that both institutions, run by Chinese-American heads, cater to mostly Indian applicants.
More than 70 percent of the nearly 5,000 enrolled in two schools are from these two states [Andhra Pradesh and Telengana], and clearly and audibly, Telugu is the lingua franca on campus. They could also call it “University of Manavallu” (“our people” in Telugu), reports The Times of India.
The majority of students being sent back from the US hail from Andhra Pradesh but there is apparently no racial profiling or targeting of Indian students. Students from other countries, including China, have been denied entry.
Sapni Reddy from Hyderabad, who is a second-year undergraduate student at Emerson College, spoke to The Quint after travelling back to college in Boston and shared her opinions on the deportation of students being sent back.
Sapni Reddy, International Student at Emerson College
It is not the fault of the [US] immigration system, nor is it a case of racism. I think people are just being ignorant back home.
Sapni added that her immigration process was easy. “They asked me the basic questions of when was the last time I was in the US, which school I go to, what my major is and after taking my picture and doing the standard procedure, they let me go.”
When asked her about why these students were being sent back to India, Sapni said,
This is a case of making fast money. These study abroad groups target capable but not street-smart students, make them pay upfront but don’t provide them with the right paperwork or prepare them for what they need to carry while travelling.
A lot of students returning from winter break are entering the US without any issues.
Between the academic year of 2014-2015 there was a record-high 132,888 Indian students studying in the US, contributing $3.6 billion to the US economy.
According to diplomatic sources, the US has denied any large-scale denial of entry to particularly Indian students. The Indian government released a press statement on 30 December 2015 regarding the same.
Ministry of External Affairs (India) Statement
The US government has conveyed that the decision to deny entry to these students is not because of the corresponding institutions being “black-listed” but based on the assessment made by the US immigration authorities of individual applicants. According to the US government, the deported persons had presented information to the border patrol agent which was inconsistent with their visa status.
Without proper documentation, it is going to be hard for anyone to enter the country whether a student, business official or a visitor.
The conclusion of these deportation seem to be between lack of documentation and a possible scam that is running within the many study abroad programs that target capable students who want to live their dream of studying abroad.
The process of deportation continues despite New Delhi making a strong plea to Washington to honour their visas.
(With inputs from agencies)
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