• The Heritage Network
    • Resize:
    • A
    • A
    • A
  • Donate
  • ICE Student Visa Bust Shows Value of Enforcement

    Yesterday, 81 international students living in the U.S. on student visas were arrested at a Miami language school for repeatedly not showing up for class. No, this wasn’t Senior Skip Day—these students were violating the conditions of their visas which require them to actually go to school here in the U.S. (students must attend class for at least 18 hours a week). Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) for its part took the appropriate steps to stop these students and the school from abusing and defrauding the visa process.

    Student visas are a great public diplomacy tool for the United States–helping to improve America’s image around the world. There is nothing wrong with giving students the opportunity to take advantage of America’s world class high-education system. But at the same time, there are legitimate security concerns surrounding these visas (several of the 9/11 hijackers used student visas). DHS and Congress, recognizing this vulnerability, have addressed this issue head on. The law has been strengthened to require students to be enrolled in a full course of study (among other requirements) and DHS has instituted robust enforcement mechanisms through its Student Exchange Visitors Program.

    This model demonstrates that the U.S. can maintain a visa process that encourages people to come to the U.S. while also ensuring these visitors are not coming to the U.S. for the wrong reasons. As James Sherk and Diem Nguyen describe, other visa categories have a far less successful record. The visa process remains burdensome, bureaucratic, and doesn’t serve the needs of the economy. As a result, illegal immigration gets worse, as employers don’t want to mess with the legal processes. And those who do get a visa often abuse it. Some 50 percent of illegal immigrants inside the U.S. are visa overstays.

    The Obama Administration has pushed for an amnesty-centric immigration reform package in Congress. But as this incident shows, the current immigration system 1) isn’t capable of preventing more people from coming and overstaying their visa, something that will be encouraged if the U.S. moves forward with amnesty, and 2) can’t adequately and efficiently bring people legally in the United States. It  seems like the wrong time to push for legalization of the illegal population. A better approach would be to do something more incremental–put enforcement and border security, as well as improvements in the legal process at the forefront of immigration reform.

    This ICE bust is good news for security and immigration enforcement–its time to look at real reform for other visas.

    Posted in Security [slideshow_deploy]

    6 Responses to ICE Student Visa Bust Shows Value of Enforcement

    1. Pingback: ICE Officials Crack Down On Miami Language School - Illegal Immigration - City-Data Forum

    2. Joe, Connecticut says:

      And then there are those who come without a Visa – http://www.BorderInvasionPics.com

    3. AmericanMike, Lake W says:

      Common sense should tell us to stop what we are doing until we fix it. We should have a moratorium on all immigration while we secure our borders by finishing the fence and create an exit verification for all visas. The States should enforce what the Feds will not or can not enforce before we reach the point of no return, Amnesty.

    4. Fred, Illinois says:

      The student visa program has outlived its usefulness and should no longer be tolerated. The article states that "Student visas are a great diplomacy for tool for the United States…………………" Nothing could be further from the truth.

      When the United States allows foreign sutdents to sudy here, there are consequences for American students. First, American students with high grades are denied an opportunity to study at the university of their choice. Second, many foreign students are subsidized by the US Government with grants and scholarships, while US students are at a disadvantage. Third, many students upon graduating do not go home, but stay in the United States illegally. Fourth, many students from third world countries are given preferential consideration for jobs because they are part of the affirmative action program.

      I do not see how the US Government can honestly say that foreign students are beneficial to America.

    5. carol otis redding c says:

      of course obama wants to push for illegal immigration amnesty, his only concern is for the vote. The thinking people are 100% against this as it is a slap in the face to the people that came here legally to work, not just for welfare. Our laws must be inforced for the security of our people not disregarded at the whims of crooked so called leaders.

    6. Martii, says:

      This is response for Fred from Illinois. Fred- I do not know where do you get inormation from but Foreign students need either sponsor or they need to have their own money !!!

      Second- there is no grands for foreign students so they have to be reach or at least have enough moeny to support themselves- money for school, food, house.

      And on the top of this – foreign students pay per credit three times more that US citizen!!! They need to have reach family to be abe to study in USA, so yes it is good for US economy. The bed part is – yes – there are people that vere terrosist and they were studying in USA , but why good girl or a boy have to be and are affected by the bad people , and they might get no visa to study in USA, if that is their intention, And usually good people – often are not reach but the terrorist have millions and in the reality – they will always win , as they have millions .

      ANd in the end it is all about the money. Sad but true. SO is USA going to be perfect and safe always. ???

      Why foreighn student need to pay triple amount per credit ?

    Comments are subject to approval and moderation. We remind everyone that The Heritage Foundation promotes a civil society where ideas and debate flourish. Please be respectful of each other and the subjects of any criticism. While we may not always agree on policy, we should all agree that being appropriately informed is everyone's intention visiting this site. Profanity, lewdness, personal attacks, and other forms of incivility will not be tolerated. Please keep your thoughts brief and avoid ALL CAPS. While we respect your first amendment rights, we are obligated to our readers to maintain these standards. Thanks for joining the conversation.

    Big Government Is NOT the Answer

    Your tax dollars are being spent on programs that we really don't need.

    I Agree I Disagree ×

    Get Heritage In Your Inbox — FREE!

    Heritage Foundation e-mails keep you updated on the ongoing policy battles in Washington and around the country.