STUDY: Foreigners Use Student Visa Loophole to Gain Entry to U.S.

(Joshua Paladino, Liberty Headlines) A report from the Center for Immigration Studies found a set of colleges have something valuable to sell their students, but it is not education; It’s access to the United States.

The study revealed 55 colleges – with extremely low academic standards – currently enroll more than 40,000 foreigners on student visas.

David North, author of the CIS study, said foreigners seek out these schools to enter the United States, without intending to receive a quality education.

These colleges have lost their accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools (ACICS). The ACICS has very low standards, but these 55 colleges could not even meet them, according to North. Its standards were so low that the Department of Education revoked its accrediting power in 2016.

These institutions, which North calls the “dregs of higher education,” take in foreigners who are seeking U.S. visas but cannot get into accredited and reputable colleges and universities. Once foreigners are admitted with student visas, they often take full-time jobs and receive a worthless education or stop pursuing a secondary degree altogether.

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Of the 55 unaccredited colleges that bring in immigrants, 42 of them are for-profit institutions.

“Unlike governmental or genuine non-profit entities, the presidents of these institutions are often the owners or part-owners and the student body contains a very high percentage of foreign students, some more than 95 percent,” North said.

The 42 for-profit institutions charge between $8,250 and $35,000 — an exorbitant fee for a nominal education.

Most of these institutions — 36 of 55 — are located in California, Florida, and Virginia.

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It’s likely these institutions have duped some foreigners who are misled into believing they will receive an excellent education, but North said most come to the U.S. knowing the institution is a racket.

“We also know that many of them sought out low-quality schools in the United States quite deliberately, as they were seeking paychecks, not valuable diplomas,” he said. “They are not to be confused with anyone’s idea of the ‘best and the brightest.’ Foreign students searching for a true education have often been misled by the institutions, which rake in money while supplying nominal educational services, and often charging substantial, even outrageous, fees.”

So, it’s a problem of both honest foreigners getting scammed and dishonest foreigners taking advantage of a loophole in the American immigration system.

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As foreign students “graduate” from these institutions at a rate of around 20,000 per year, many of them stay in the United States as illegal aliens, since visa expiration dates are not thoroughly enforced.

Foreign students who receive H-1B visas are then preferred for American jobs because their H-1B status exempts their employers from payroll taxes. This amounts to a 7.65 percent tax break for employers who hire foreign “students.”

North said solving the problem does not require millions of dollars.

“One solution is to stop granting these compromised colleges the privilege of issuing visas to their prospective students and of granting H-1B status to their potential employees,” he said.