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In a move consistent with the Biden administration’s retreat from former President Donald Trump’s stricter immigration measures and guidelines, the Department of Homeland Security has announced it will not pursue visa deadlines F-1 students.
Like virtually all of the dozens of visas available to foreign nationals through the federal government, the F-1 visa is a victim of fraud. When President Trump presented his proposed restrictions, he said his administration was acting in the best interests of American students.
To support its claim that tighter oversight is needed, the Trump administration gave the example of an international student who stayed in the United States for 30 years while allegedly attending a dance school. President Trump could have referred to numerous other incidents of student visa fraud.
In 2019, Immigration and Customs Enforcement charged eight foreign nationals with conspiracy to commit student visa fraud. Going back to 2001, at least one of the 9/11 terrorists also entered on an F-1 visa, while others originally entered with different categories of temporary nonimmigrant visas. According to Trump’s plan, most visas would expire after four years, even if the student needed more time to graduate – students born in dozens of countries in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Africa would be limited to two years.
An F-1 visa does not have a fixed expiration date, but rather is tied to the end date of the study program. Extended stays are frequent, place students in an illegally present immigration status and give them an easy opportunity to enter the illegal labor market if they submit, as many do, falsified job applications.
Some F-1 students who study science, technology, engineering, and math may qualify for elective practical training, a program that allows more than 250,000 international students to work in the United States in collar jobs. white for up to three years. The original intention of the student visa was abandoned a long time ago. Its goal was to offer an international resident the opportunity to earn an American degree, return home, and then use the knowledge gained to improve their home country. Today, student visas have, thanks to the OPT, evolved into a guest worker program.
The Biden administration has defended its decision to end President Trump’s more restrictive guidelines by highlighting comments made on the Federal Register, which said it received extremely critical comments. Of the approximately 32,000 comments submitted, 99% opposed it.
In the context of the big picture, however, 32,000 comments are insignificant. Each year, before the pandemic, about 1.1 million international students are enrolled in U.S. higher education institutions. You can assume they would oppose tougher regulations, as would thousands of college professors, administrators, immigration advocates, and lawyers.
In its article titled “Biden Administration Won’t Pursue Time Limits on Student Visas,” the Wall Street Journal quoted immigration attorney Miriam Feldblum, executive director of the Alliance of Presidents for the higher education and immigration. Feldblum, who previously believed the delays would hurt international students and schools wishing to enroll them, hailed Biden’s overthrow.
Feldblum’s statement does not indicate that universities benefit greatly from the higher tuition fees they receive from international students, which displace qualified American children whose parents have contributed to the university system for decades. At the University of Virginia, for example, a state student pays $ 423 per credit while a non-resident of Virginia pays more than three times that amount, $ 1,552.
There is no doubt that having to renew the status occasionally would be a nuisance. But when the international student thinks about compromise, the little effort is well worth the future rewards: an American college degree and the earning potential it brings in return for additional red tape. If the potential student finds the process too cumbersome, the international learner is not required in the US Globally, more than 25,000 universities accept applications each year.