The administration of US president, Donald Trump, has been accused of making questionable conclusions from the visa overstay report prepared by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to back its push to impose visa limits on International students.
The US president has already been accused of making the US less attractive to international students because of his extreme travel policies. He has made clear his agenda of reducing the length of the time international students are authorized to stay in the country. He intends to partly achieve this by setting the date of visa overstay to the exact date of its expiry instead of the date immigration officials commence their investigation.
This is very important as defaulters will face penalties based on the time overstayed. The situation may not even entirely be in their hands because the DHS most times have delays that exceed 180 days. For this reason, many students may be punished unfairly for a situation they had no control over.
Since then, president Trump has given more pressure to immigration officials when he, last month, gave the country’s Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo, the DHS and the Department of Justice the task of recommending policies that will greatly reduce the number of visa overstays in the country.
Former staff at Capitol Hill, Stuart Anderson, wrote an article for Forbes, where he argued that the visa overstay report of the DHS has artificial statistics, aimed at exaggerating the real figures so it would make a good case for an argument.
One of the many wrong features of the DHS report is that most of the figures represent people whose departure from the country had no means of verification.
Paul Virtue, a former official of the Immigration and Naturalization Service, some students changed their visas to work visas, and since it was not recorded by the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System, there was no way for the DHS to know.
According to Anderson, there is no monitoring for departures at airports in the US save for the manifests of each airline.
An intervention from the court
Some colleges and universities in the country have frowned at this ruling, calling it ‘unlawful’ and a deliberate scheme to penalize tens of thousands of students with re-entry restrictions. A court ruling on May 3 does not authorize the DHS to implement the memo until the further court hearing.
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