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McCaskill among senators seeking crackdown on student visa fraud

Sunday, March 6, 2011 | 6:33 p.m. CST

ALBANY, N.Y. — Five U.S. senators are calling for a federal crackdown on what they say are phony colleges handing out student visas to potential criminals and terrorists.

Sens. Dianne Feinstein of California, Claire McCaskill of Missouri, Jon Tester of Montana, Bill Nelson of Florida and Charles Schumer of New York say the colleges are fronts for people who pay to illegally enter the United States.

The Democrats are calling on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Homeland Security to share information that could help identify the fake colleges.

The senators note several of the Sept. 11 terrorists entered the United States on student visas. They also cite recent incidents in California and in Florida where schools have been accused of being involved in the illegal visa scheme.

"Sham universities are not real institutions of higher learning, but rather operate solely for the purpose of manipulating immigration law to admit foreign nationals into the country," the senators stated in the letter released Sunday. "When the student visa program can be manipulated by bad actors, it threatens the viability of the entire program for the large majority of bona fide participants."

The senators will ask the federal departments to determine "high-risk factors" within 90 days and conduct site visits at schools that show a high risk factor through data — or the lack of data — that legitimate schools must provide to the federal government. The senators also seek stiffer penalties for "sham universities" that engage in student visa fraud.

"The existing penalties for student visa fraud are simply too low to deter bad actors who can reap large rewards by operating for-profit sham universities and charging foreigners thousands of dollars to come to the United States," the senators wrote. "These new penalties will assist you in obtaining justice for the bad actors who compromise the system."

There was no immediate comment from the federal departments.


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Comments

Delcia Crockett March 6, 2011 | 9:59 p.m.

From article:
There was no immediate comment from the federal departments.

My response:
That figures. Keep after them, Senators- five only that you be, as of now. Feds, please note that McCaskill is in the mix, and our Senator knows how to focus and accomplish, and get the job done - per track record, thus far.

(Report Comment)
Debra Duncan March 9, 2011 | 9:39 p.m.

Now, don't get me wrong - I would love to see these "sham universities" CLOSED DOWN and those that created them punished severly, but -

This article pretty much sums up what is wrong with our country. (and I'm not JUST talking about Democrats here - they just happen to be the whiz/bangs that were quoted)

"The Democrats are calling on the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services and Homeland Security to share information that could help identify the sham colleges."

Wasn't Homeland Security CREATED to resolve the fact that Federal agencies were NOT sharing information between departments that deal with our security? (Apparently that's not working out!) Janet, of HOMELAND SECURITY, consistantly denies that we have a problem with ILLEGAL immigrants, so why would she admit that we have ILLEGAL colleges that assist people who are trying to enter our country ILLEGALLY who may be potential criminals and terrorists? (They ARE criminals the minute they enter our country ILLEGALLY.) How many years have We the People been screaming about our southern border? (Oh that's right - when a border state screams, the federal government responds by suing them.)

But, here come five of our best to the rescue! We are taking 90 days (3 MONTHS) to determine which universities have NOT been sending in data that legitimate schools MUST provide to the federal government! (I would have thought that there was a government employee that had that job.) WE MUST FIND AND PUNISH those ILLEGAL, SHAM schools. BUT what about those that have entered our country ILLEGALLY who may or may not be potential criminals and terrorists? I don't think there were any quotes from the senators on that subject . . .

I need to research and see how many of these five are up for re-election in 2012. I WAS born at night - just not LAST NIGHT and it would serve the country well if all politicians would humble themselves and realize that we NO LONGER listen to their words - we watch their actions.

Please read "Atlas Shrugged" (written in 1957, I believe.)

(Report Comment)

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