Washington, Feb.10 (ANI): The Indian Government has said that its embassy in Washington has taken up the matter of terminating the admission of Indian students at the Tri-Valley University located in Pleasanton, California, with the US Department of State, the US Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration and the Customs Enforcement (ICE), and requested officials of all three institutions to address the problems and grievances of the students.
According to an Indian Embassy release, the ICE has now put up certain guidelines for the Tri-Valley students on their website.
According to the guidelines, if a student has been formerly enrolled in the F-1 category at the university and has been terminated in SEVIS (Student and Exchange Visitor Information System), he or she should call the SEVP (Student and Educational Visitor Program) Response Center (SRC) at 703-603-3400.
This number will be staffed from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. (EST), seven days a week. At other times, students have been advised to leave a telephone number at which the SEVP will return the call the next day.
The ICE has also said that each student must be prepared to provide the following information to the SEVP staff when the call is made:
First and last name
Telephone number where you can be reached
Dates of attendance at TVU
Level and Major of study at TVU
It said that SEVP will provide the options available, including the option to depart from the United States without an otherwise possibly applicable bar to re-admission in the future.
The United States has said that it is taking very seriously a civilian case filed against Tri-Valley University.
In a court filing, the university, and its founder, Susan Su, are accused of an elaborate scheme to defraud the students - most of whom were from India.
Earlier this month, the U.S. Immigrations and Customs Enforcement agency has filed a motion in U.S. district court to forfeit the property identified as owned by Ms. Su.
She allegedly purchased the real estate by using the tuition and fees of the students. An investigation is ongoing, and a public affairs officer refused to comment further on the case, other than to email the original court filing.
A hotline to help students has been set up, and the agency says, there have been several responses. Affected students may need to try multiple times before getting through.
ANI spoke with Dr. Virender Paul of the Indian Embassy in Washington. Dr. Paul, the press attaché, told ANI that the only students visiting the embassy were students on normal stops in Washington as part of their studies in the United States.
He postponed further discussion of the Tri-Valley University case.
At the U.S. State Department, spokesman P.J. Crowley described the case as an illustration of the universally damaging effects of visa fraud. He added that ankle-monitors are standard operating procedure in immigration cases like this, but the use of the devices does not suggest guilt on anyone"s part.
The ICE, an agency of the Department of Homeland Security, is taking the lead on further investigation into Tri-Valley University.
The Student and Exchange Visitor Information System (SEVIS) is how students coming from another country apply for a visa to study in the United States under the Student and Educational Visitor Program.
The database was last updated on January 21, 2011. At the same time, the U.S. Department of Education or any other recognized body did not recognize Tri-Valley University as a fully accredited university.
And, many have noted, the website for Tri-Valley University has many basic grammatical errors. (ANI)