Students duped in the Tri-Valley University scam were given some relief on Thursday after ICE officials announced guidelines that may enable them to stay in the U.S. to finish their studies. The students, 95 percent of which were Indian nationals, will not be automatically deported as they initially feared.
Students have three options, according to ICE officials — but only one of them involves staying to complete their schooling.
One official told TPM: “The first option is to report to ICE to be processed for voluntary departure from the United States.” Students that report the ICE before leaving on their own will keep a clean immigration history, which would allow them to potentially return, and they can remain in the country without fear of deportation until their determined departure date.
ICE officials continued: “They may also choose to depart the United States on their own or file for re-instatement with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.” One of the affected students told the Hindustan Times that the last option is a “great opportunity.”
Interestingly, the sting performed by immigration officials at TVU in 2010 (which led to the arrest of its founder) involved two students who supposedly lost their student visas and paid the university to renew their visas without attending the school.
ICE has posted an advisory on the Student Exchange and Visitors Information Program website to direct students how to contact an SEVP representative to obtain information about their options.