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US Immigration and Why Students Are Getting Deported From US

Posted on: 02/11/2016

Getting deported is one of the scariest experiences which no one would like to invite in his/her life. Recently newspapers are abuzz with incidents related to US immigration and how students are getting deported so unceremoniously from there. Here we take a look at the immigration law and explore the causes that has resulted in student deportation on a mass scale.


The US immigration law aims at monitoring deportation of immigrants staying illegally in the United States. Since 2009 the country has deported over 2 million people back to their home countries. With news of students being deported from US doing rounds lately, the future of many bright students not only Indian but from all over the world has become uncertain.


Firstly, let’s decode the US visa system that applies to anyone entering the country. Two departments namely the Justice and State department are involved in the immigration process. The State department handles foreign consulates and embassies whereas the Justice department has a Customs and Border Protection unit or CBP to control all entry points to US.


A student applies for an F-1 or non-immigrant visa and informs that he is going to the United States to study and after completing the program he will return to his native country. To get this visa a student has to undergo interview with the US consulate personnel. His credentials and documents are checked and if found satisfactory the visa is approved. However, this visa takes you to the entry point of the USA only.


Once at the US airport, CBP asks the candidate general questions about background, study program, tuition fees and more. They scrutinize documents and look for evidence. If the candidate gets nervous, fumbles or fails to answer simple questions about the program, he is detained and grilled in a separate room for longer period.


Current state of the situation:


January 2016 saw deportation of 14 students from Hyderabad though they had valid F-1 visas and I-20 forms from USA based educational institutions that certified their admission. Also, Air India prevented 19 other students to board a flight travelling to the USA. Apparently, these students were scheduled to take admission in the Silicon Valley University and National Polytechnic University which were ‘blacklisted’ according to Air India. In Dec 2015 another 130 students were sent back from the United States.


Snapshots of questions asked by CBP revealed that it has expressed displeasure stating that these students travelling abroad for further education have almost no money and zero knowledge of their tuition fees, living cost or what a credit hour is! The overall immigration statistics released by the US department of Homeland Security in 2013 revealed that a total 438,421 unauthorized immigrants were deported from US out of which 240,000 were non criminal immigration violators.

How worse it can get


Blame it on the recent Paris incident, and other terrorist happenings worldwide or the upcoming elections in the USA, immigration authorities have become more vigilant now. Not just students, but some Indian nationals travelling with work, tourism and business visas were also deported. Therefore students need to be well prepared to prevent deportation disaster.

What students can do to avoid this situation


Get your facts right. Spend time to know your university, educational program, fees structure, payment dates, cost of living, and the program duration. Even if you are going through a consulting company, clarify these facts.  You need to have documents, proper authorization and capacities in place. Make sure you choose the right university that’s not blacklisted. Do conduct background checks online before registering.

Impact on student's morale and families:


Deportation definitely shatters the morale of a student especially if one has to go through stressful hours of questioning. This is not only harrowing for the student but their families too. Apart from monetary losses, a student’s dream of studying in an American university is shattered. Also it becomes difficult to get fresh admission in other universities with the ‘deported’ tag.


Considering the fact that international students helped the country earn a whopping $30.5 billion dollars during the academic year 2014-15, the United States clearly stands to lose with such stringent application of Immigration Law.  In coming days we do hope that the ‘Land of Opportunity’ would live up to its name by opening doors to deserving international candidates.


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