Harvard and most a academia are up in arms to a minor change in immigration enforcement policy. Recently U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) and U. S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) changed current rules on illegal aliens who violate the terms and conditions of admission placed upon non-immigrant visa (NIV) holders. Previously, NIV holders, especially those in the F-1 student non-immigrant visa holder classification, were generously treated to minor act of mercy by the government. NIV holders were not considered to be in violation of the terms of admission until the government became aware of their violation. Of course that policy was ridiculous. If one violates the conditions of a NIV, that period of violation begins when the alien in question violates the law, not when DHS discovers that violation, as most violations are never discovered by DHS. But the allegedly high IQ alien employees and students at Harvard are claiming that their violations are both unintentional and of no consequence to the government.
Harvard signed onto an amicus brief Friday objecting to federal visa policy changes made in August that tightened visa overstay rules for international students.
The brief opposes the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services policy memorandum’s revision of rules for how unlawful stay time is calculated for visa-holding students. In particular, the signatories are concerned that the new policy “introduces significant and destructive uncertainty” to international students’ and scholars’ study in the United States, according to the brief.
Harvard joined 64 other U.S. institutions of higher education in signing the brief, most of which are members of the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration, a coalition of schools that advocates for policies supportive of undocumented, immigrant, and international students…
[Harvard Signs Amicus Brief Opposing More Stringent Student Visa Policies, by Annie Doris, Harvard Crimson, December 23, 2018]
Now, the reporter, Annie Doris, gets almost nothing correct in her story about immigration law violations. [Contact her here]. First, she claims that:
Under longstanding immigration policies, when an individual is no longer authorized to remain in the U.S. — such as when a visa expires — a period of “unlawful presence” begins. After six months of unlawful presence, an individual can be forced to return to their country of origin and subject to a three year bar from the U.S.
“An alien may be forced to return to their country…” is a strange construction for a journalist. There is a word that replaces “…may be forced to return to their country…” That word is “deported.” One does not know why Doris did not use such an economy of words to clearly explain to the reader what happens when the alien violates immigration law, whether that violation be intentional or “inadvertant.”
Nor did Doris deal with the other issue, the duration of an alien’s time in the United States is not related at all to the expiration date of the NIV. An NIV is only a permit to apply for admission to the United States in a particular non-immigrant category. At admission, an immigration officer at U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) determines if the alien is admissible, and for what period of time according to law. A foreign student for example is admitted until their approved course of study is completed, not to the expiration date of the NIV they presented to gain admission. After the course of study is completed, the alien is required to depart in 30 days. Very simple, one would think a Harvard student or employee could understand that.
Furthermore, Doris did not address the issue of violations of terms and conditions of admission. The most common are, for students, not being enrolled full-time, with the second most common violation, for students and others, unlawful employment.
For the uninitiated, the violation of the terms and conditions of admission makes one immediately unlawfully present in the United States. And there is no solution to that issue until the government takes some sort of action regarding that violation. The usual solution being deportation or the alien departing and then obtaining a new NIV with a waiver for the unlawful presence and NIV violation.
Doris goes on to compound her errors in immigration law.
Prior to the August policy change, individuals only began to accrue unlawful presence the day after the government issued an official determination that the visa holder was “out of status,” according to the amicus brief. Since the enactment of the new rules, the Department of Homeland Security can set retroactive start dates for unlawful presence that begin the day after an individual’s degree program is complete or the day after a person’s visa expires.
No, under the new policy, the government does not set retroactive or ex post facto start dates for unlawful presence. The alien was always unlawfully present, but that was just not generally enforced. It was a benefit given to aliens without basis in law. In fact, the new policy of strictly adhering to the law, is just that, adhering to the law as written by Congress and in the regulations.
Furthermore, again, that has nothing to do with the date of the expiration of the NIV. Doris seems to be obsessed by that date for some unknown reason, most likely just pure ignorance or a deliberate refusal to do any research for her story, which was just another screech about Orange Man Bad.
Continuing, again, aliens have 30 days from the end of their course of study to leave the United States. This is not a secret. Nor is their graduation date a secret. These Harvard grads need to plan ahead and buy a plane ticket to leave within 30 days of their graduation. Not exactly rocket science.
Then Doris babbles on about some alleged “tough choices” that students need to make. Well, the first tough choice is to not violate the terms and conditions of admission as a foreign student, such as unlawful employment and not being enroll full-time.
The amicus brief argues that the new rule puts visa-holding students in a position to make “tough choices.”
“Under the prior policy, when international students did become aware of a potential issue, they were able to make corrections and request reviews and adjustments, without fearing the accrual of unlawful presence,” the brief states. “International students can stay in the country while they seek review and run the risk of accruing additional unlawful presence time, or they can interrupt their studies and leave the country while the issue is being resolved.”
It is not quite certain what these ephemeral “potential issues” are. Be enrolled full-time and don’t work illegally. Pretty simple. Now for most foreign students, that is why they really come here, to work and to avoid full-time classes, as most foreign students lie about how they will pay for tuition, room, and board. They come here will little or no money, then start working illegally. I suspect this is not true for Harvard students, but quite a few think university is all about partying and don’t maintain academic status or find the course work too difficult and seek a less than full-time course load. All those issues are quite obvious and none require “tough choices.” Unless the purpose of entering the United States was not to really attend a credentialed degree program of post-secondary education. Which, for Harvard appears to be something other than an education, but networking and finding a husband. Neither of which are part of the F-1 student NIV program.
One may attribute this series of errors and lack of research to very low journalism standards at the Crimson and the journalism program at Harvard, but in reality the reporterette was on a jihad against President Trump, as evidenced by her last paragraph:
Harvard’s participation in the brief follows months of on-campus activism in the wake of efforts by President Donald Trump’s administration to terminate Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals and remove some people’s Temporary Protected Status. The former is an Obama-era program that allows undocumented youth to live and work in the United States, and the latter is a designation for certain foreign nationals who are unable to return to their country of citizenship due to unsafe circumstances like an armed conflict or natural disaster.
So, little Doris had to bring in DACA and TPS, issues irrelevant to foreign students on an F-1 NIV. So this is what Harvard and the Crimson are producing, little propagandists of the #LyingPress #LuggenPresse.