No early end to woes of TVU students in sight

Three weeks after they lost their visa status to be in the US, more than 1,000 Indian students from the Tri Valley University (TVU) are in for a "long haul" though the Indian government has raised the issue at the highest level.

Updated: Feb 13, 2011, 14:20 PM IST

New York: Three weeks after they lost their
visa status to be in the US, more than 1,000 Indian students
from the Tri Valley University (TVU) are in for a "long haul"
though the Indian government has raised the issue at the
highest level.

Many of the students from the California-based TVU, which
has been shut down on charges of massive visa fraud, said they
are stuck here without any concrete plan to get out of their
dilemma.

Noting that the situation was very complex, Susmita
Gongulee Thomas, the Consul General of the Indian Consulate in
San Francisco said the students of the TVU, were in for a
"long haul".

"It is not going to happen and closure will happen in 2
or 3 months. I feel, definitely it would be much longer than
that may be 6 or 7 months or 8 months", she said.

But definitely there is a lot of hope and a lot of
students whom we can possibly help to reinstate themselves and
to get back to studies," Thomas said.

Speaking on condition of anonymity a student said, "We
don`t know what to do. We want to get our visa status back and
remain in the country. We have spent too much of our parents’
money to go back."

Around 30 of these students met Foreign Minister SM
Krishna today in New York to seek government assistance.

Krishna said that India was pushing the US on two fronts -
the first to "safeguard the interest of the affected students"
and second to "inquire into the dubious status of the
university and bringing to book those responsible for
perpetuating the scam".

"We have taken it up with authorities in the US at the
highest level," he said.

According to a federal complaint filed in a California
court in January, the university helped foreign nationals
illegally acquire immigration status. The university is said
to have 1,555 students. As many as 95 per cent of these
students are Indian nationals, the complaint said.

Investigations by Immigration and Customs Enforcement
(ICE) have found that while students were admitted to various
residential and online courses of the university and on paper
lived in California, but in reality they "illegally" worked in
various parts of the country as far as Maryland, Virginia,
Pennsylvania and Texas.

PTI