To: Janet Napolitano, Secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, Alexander Mayorkas, Director USCIS, and Hillary Clinton, Secretary of State
Tell DHS: Reinstate Former TVU Students
Reinstate the F-1 status of former Tri-Valley University (TVU) students who are now enrolled in a full course of study at a SEVP-approved school.
Why is this important?
Tri-Valley University (TVU), Pleasanton, CA, was shut down by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on January 18, 2011, and the TVU President, Susan Su, was taken into custody for fraud against the students and the U.S. government. However, in the aftermath, over 1500 foreign students, mainly from India, lost their F-1 visa status and deportation proceedings were initiated against many students. TVU was a Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP)-certified school, and students relied upon this designation in selecting this school.
DHS gave these students the option to either return home or file to reinstate their F-1 visa status. Approximately one thousand students filed for reinstatement, re-enrolled at new schools, are diligently pursuing their studies, and have paid thousands of dollars in tuition fees. So many of them have used their parents’ life savings to start the process all over again of pursuing their graduate studies.
Despite assurances from US officials, including Secretary Hillary Clinton, that students who played no role in the immigration fraud would be treated fairly and expeditiously, DHS recently issued Notices of Intent to Deny (NOIDs) reinstatement to a large number of these students, based on criteria that are known by DHS to be impossible to meet. The applications for reinstatement submitted by the students appear to have been arbitrarily evaluated and unreasonably slated for denial en masse. These notices were even issued to students who enrolled for Spring 2011 and thus never even attended TVU before it was shut down.
Several students are young women and men who are the first in their families to seek higher education in another country. Denial of reinstatement will not only impact the rest of the students’ careers but it will also directly impact their families, and thereby affect thousands.