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  1. #1
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    Default Fake US varsity: duped students radio tagged

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    After being duped by a California-based "sham" university, scores of Indian students in the US are now enduring the ignominy of being forced to wear radio collars around their ankles so that authorities can keep track of their movements.
    The students, mostly from Andhra Pradesh, may also be deported as authorities shut down Tri-Valley University in Pleasanton, a major suburb in San Francisco Bay Area, on charges of a massive immigration fraud.
    A number of students were interrogated by authorities and also forced to wear radio collars fitted with GPS technology to track their movements.
    Students have sent petitions to the US Homeland Security department and US Immigration Department saying they haven't violated any law and they should not be seen as offenders but as victims.
    "They (the students) were tagged with some sort of monitoring system placed on their ankles," Jayaram Komati of the Telugu Association of North America told a private Indian channel.
    "...it is none of their (the students') fault, but the university is at fault as it violated some rules and regulations because of which all the students are being victimised in this whole situation. We heard that (External Affairs Minister) SM Krishna is trying to talk to the State Department. Hopefully this type of pressure will make this much easier (to resolve the issue)," he was quoted as saying.
    An unnamed Indian student, who was among those duped, said the university was shut down all of a sudden.
    "We don't know what is happening with the university and the US government. We have been told that we are illegal immigrants," he was quoted as saying by the channel, adding that 100 students of the university, which had a total of 4,400, have been affected.
    "We went to the local Senator and the Indian embassy. We also met the local attorney to help us but everyone is saying that this is the deportation process. People from immigration office came to my room and said they needed some information about our college. Before going, they put tags on our ankles and said this is the tracking system."
    State Department spokesman PJ Crowley on Friday said that any activity involving visa fraud would obviously be of great concern to the US. "The investigation of that is done by law enforcement, obviously with our cooperation, since we are the ones who issue visas."
    According to a federal complaint filed in a California court last week, the University helped foreign nationals illegally acquire immigration status. The students are reported to have paid lakhs of rupees for obtaining a visa for their category and also for students work permit.
    Investigations by Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) found that while students were admitted to various residential and on-line courses of the university and on paper lived in California, in reality they "illegally" worked in various parts of the country as far as Maryland, Virginia, Pennsylvania, and Texas. ICE called Tri-Valley a "sham university".
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  2. #2
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    Default Radio-tagging of TVU students justified: US

    The United Staes on Monday justified the use of ankle monitors to electronically tag the movement of some Tri-Vally University (TVU) students.
    A statement issued by the US embassy says: “Use of ankle monitors is widespread across the United States and standard procedure for a variety of investigations, and does not necessarily imply guilt or suspicion of criminal activity.”
    Meanwhile, to provide information, the Andhra Pradesh government has set up a helpline for addressing the queries of the families.
    It is an anxious wait for the family of thousands of students of TVU who face an uncertain future.
    Prakash Rao, 58, is one of the unfortunate parents who sent their children to study in TVU. His daughter is likely to be deported back to India for studying at Tri Valley - a school which is being investigated for immigration fraud.
    “We are wondering why is the government is not responding to requests. These are students whose careers are now in question ,” complained Rao.
    More than 1 lakh students fly to the US every year for higher studies. 35 per cent of them are from Andhra Pradesh. A majority of tri valley students are also from the state. Today, some among them are suspects being investigated for complicity in the fraud. Students are also being probed for duping others in return for money.
    Some disturbing facts have emerged in the case. It has been learnt that TVU was allowed to enroll only 30 students, but it had more than 1500 students by September 2010 with another 1000 waiting to be enrolled. The school held no classes -- but not too many students complained.
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  3. #3
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    Default Visa fraud: 'sham' varsity blames Indian staffer

    The California University accused of a massive "visa fraud" by US immigration officials says the charges against the college are "baseless" and that it has not cheated any student.
    The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) claims that the college acted as a front for a massive immigration racket.



    Ninety five per cent of the students are reported to be from India. Some of them are now in danger or being deported. The US has defended its decision to place radio tags or ankle-bracelets on some of the students - criticized as "adding insult to the injury" by Indian Foreign Affairs Minister SM Krishna.

    The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) brought "this baseless allegation ...causing hundreds of students to withdraw from classes.... Also, it caused a profitable university operation to quickly sink into negative in financial debt," Susan Su, President and Founder of the TVU, said in an e-mail to PTI.
    According to Ms Su, "Starting in April, a student assistant, Anji Reddy, who worked in TVU's administrative office teamed with another student Ram Krista Karra, who also has a consultant company" to swindle international students who were asked to deposit their tuition fees into Karra's personal account in exchange for a I-20 form needed for student visas.
    Ms Su claimed that TVU is a Student and Exchange Visitor Programme (SEVP)-verified and approved legitimate school that can admit international students.
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