US ICE establishes helpline for Tri Valley University students

| | Updated on: Jan 29, 2011

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has established a helpline for the Indian students affected by the closure of Tri Valley University in California after an immigration scam.

“We have set up an email address and voicemail that Tri Valley students can use to contact ICE Homeland Security Investigations directly with their questions,’’ the ICE spokeswoman, Ms Lari K. Haley, said.

Ms Haley said any affected student can call the US number 415-844-5320 and leave the voice message.

An ICE representative will return the call, she said, adding that the students can also write to ‘SFRHSIFraud@dhs.gov’, seeking help.

According to a federal complaint filed in a California court last week, the university helped foreign nationals illegally acquire immigration status.

The university is said to have 1,555 students. As many as 95 per cent of these students are Indian nationals, the complaint said.

Investigations by ICE found that while students were admitted to various residential and on-line courses of the university and on paper lived in California, but in reality they “illegally” worked in various parts of the country as far as Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Texas.

ICE has called it as a “Sham University’’.

Unconfirmed reports said that nearly two dozen students have been arrested or detained so far in various parts of the country and a large number of them have been asked to leave the country.

Some students who approached us have been placed under ISAP (Intense Supervision and Appearance Program) by ICE and put in removal proceedings.

However, ICE refused to give details of its enforcement action arguing that the matters are under investigation.

“US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) is responsible for enforcing the nation’s immigration and customs laws. If ICE encounters individuals during the course of an investigation who are found to be in violation of their immigration status, the agency will take follow-up action consistent with the agency’s enforcement priorities,” Ms Haley said.

“Those priorities include targeting criminal offenders, persons who’ve overstayed or violated the terms of their visas, and those who have exploited the nation’s legal immigration system by gaining their status through fraud,” she said.

“If someone is placed in deportation proceedings, they have full access to due process and an opportunity to seek legal relief from removal through the immigration courts.

“In determining whether individuals will be detained while those proceedings go forward or released under some sort of supervision, ICE carefully considers all aspects of the case, including the person’s criminal and immigration history, their ties to the community and whether they represent a flight risk,” Ms Haley said.

Published on March 12, 2018

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