- United States
US Immigration Authorities arrested the CEO of a University in Silicon Valley area on charges of visa fraud, on Thursday August 2nd, 2012. Jerry Wang, the CEO of Sunnyvale’s Herguan University, was arrested on multiple charges including visa fraud by the federal authorities in a raid at his home in the Santa Clara. The charges could send 32 years old Wang to serve 23 years in prison with over $1 million dollars in fine.
Elaborating the details of the indictment, the authorities said that Wang and certain Herguan University administration members were charged of providing the authorities with fake documents, unauthentic transfer letters and false statements. Wang is also CEO of the University of East-West Medicine. The authorities did not provide any statement linking this University with the visa scam case.
Richard Friberg, Vice President of the University of East-West University of Medicine, said that everything happened very unexpectedly.
“All we know,” Friberg said, “is that Homeland Security showed up unannounced this afternoon and the agents started looking for images on the computers and took copies of files.”
Friberg says that he does not have any knowledge of the activities of Wang and is not involved in any such frauds.
According to the Federal Laws, Herguan University will lose its authorization to enroll foreign students through the US Department of Homeland Security’s (DHS) Student and Exchange Visitor Program. The University now has only 30 days in which it can contest the action and file appeal in higher courts, after the US immigrations and Customs Enforcement (ICE) revoked its certification.
The impact of the whole affair has consequently jeopardized the lives and academic careers of about 450 immigrant students studying at Herguan, as they are now confused as to the fate of their immigration status.
“We actually do not know what is happening at all,” said one student. Another said that the students were all told that they must shift to other Universities, or else they would have to go back to their home countries.
This means that if these immigrant students are unable to get themselves enrolled in other Universities in the United States, they will be going home empty handed, after spending thousands of US dollars on their education over here.
The University was closed on Thursday, but officials say that it will reopen on Monday and students will be allowed to continue their regular classes until the University remains certified to do so.
Last year, in a similar case, Pleasanton’s Tri-Valley University was shut down by the federal authorities after charging the president of the University, Susan Su, with offenses of visa fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, alien harboring and making false statements. As a consequence to this dozens of students had to face threats of deportation. The University president, Su, was inducted on 35 counts in April last year.
In the past couple of years, the United States immigration authorities have doubled up their efforts of cracking down visa and immigration scams like these and apprehending those responsible. But these crackdowns are not doing much for the victims of these scams. Students like those in Herguan University might not decide to go back home if they fail to obtain admission in any other university, becoming illegal immigrants in the country. Until proper measures to help these victims are not taken, the result will remain one sided.
Tags: Illegal immigrants, immigrant students, Immigration, Immigration and Customs Enforcement, United States, US Department of Homeland Security, US Immigration