A loophole in U.S. immigration law is allowing thousands of illegal "students" to receive special visas to enter America, according to a new report.
The Center for Immigration Studies, which advocates lower levels of immigration to the U.S., found in a study published Monday that 55 colleges and universities with over 100 campuses are providing F-1 (foreign student) visas in order for immigrants to clear the documentation requirements of the Department of Homeland Security for student status.
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The report, flagged by the Washington Examiner, estimates that 40,000 immigrants are being let into the U.S. through a loophole that permits colleges and universities that are no longer accredited to provide F-1 status to these "student" immigrants, many of whom are illegal aliens.
The 55 schools, 42 of which are for-profit, lost their accreditation from the Accrediting Council for Independent Colleges and Schools after the council was de-recognized by the Department of Education in December 2016. But the colleges and universities are still largely able to issue the Form I-20 that immigrants can use to apply for an F-1 visa, allowing immigrants to enter the country as students and keep the schools in business.
Immigration expert David North, who authored the report, referred to these schools as "the very dregs of higher education in this country."
In another report by North, published Saturday, he explains that there are many "ghostly institutions" on the Department of Homeland Security's database, which mistakenly shows certain institutions as being accredited.
One example, the American College of Commerce and Technology (ACCT), is a for-profit state agency in Falls Church, Va. and has an "almost completely alien student body."
On May 1, the State Council of Higher Education for Virginia ordered ACCT to stop accepting students until its accreditation status could be confirmed.
However, the confirmation of accreditation may not make a difference due to the loophole in U.S. immigration law, which allows non-students to gain student status and be permitted to enter the U.S. through the F-1 visa.
The loophole gives institutions time to appeal their demotion of accreditation, during which time they can still pursue immigrant applicants.
According to North's report published Monday, many of the students who go to these schools are not actually looking for an education.
"We also know that many of them sought out low-quality schools in the United States quite deliberately, as they were seeking paychecks, not valuable diplomas," he writes. "They are not to be confused with anyone's idea of the ‘best and the brightest.'"