Friday, March 30, 2012

'Studying' in Britain – one big immigration scam

Incredible news – a London college ranked as "highly trusted" by the UK Border Agency has been accused of helping foreign students cheat the immigration system.

According to Sky News: "The investigation discovered that diploma certificates and dissertations were for sale inside the London College of Business in Barking. It is also revealed that some 159,000 people are thought to be in Britain despite their student visas having expired, and that just 2,700 students have been removed since 2009.

Whatever the allegations involving this particular college, it has been well known for some time that the foreign student system is a scam.

Look at the figures: the number of students arriving in Britain increased sharply during the Labour years, with the International Passenger Survey, which records the main reason for migration, showing that the number arriving for study increased from 87,000 in 2001 to 175,000 in 2006-2007 and up to 209,000 the following year. This leapt to 273,000 in 2008-9 and, once one includes students student visitors and dependants, the figure for 2009 is 489,000, up 100,000 on the previous year.

Why the leap? Because the Government that year introduced PBS Tier 4, which was either designed with total incompetence or was yet another one of New Labour’s bright ideas for shifting immigration away from areas where it would be unpopular and scrutinised, to areas where it was still imagined to be beneficial.

The new rules required that anyone studying for more than six months possess 40 points: 30 points are awarded for possessing a Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) issued by the sponsoring college and ten points are given for maintenance.

Finding a college is not difficult since Britain is dotted with “business schools” which offer courses of dubious worth and whose main source of income is immigration.

So as long as a school, however crumby, will accept you, and you can prove you have £800 per month for six months, you can come and study here. You can work, in theory for only 20 hours a week, but in reality who can know? After two years you can work full-time, legally, assuming you can get a job that pays £20,000 a year. You can also bring in dependants, who can also work without restrictions (if you studied at degree level, however awful the university).

In the first year of operating Tier 4, the number of student visas rose by a third, and over two-thirds of these came from the Middle East or South Asia, those regions which are considered the biggest risk for overstaying.

The system is a scam; it is, in effect, a legal way for someone to pay their way into Britain. Legalised people trafficking.

And the working restrictions are unenforceable. Britain is a free country and the state can’t, and shouldn’t, spy on its residents; the whole benefit of having a strong, properly enforced border is that you don’t need to. And yet it is isn’t – only one-third of colleges have been checked by immigration officials before they were allowed to accredit students.

Education has become an unofficial way to buy entry into Britain because it is less unpopular with the public than other routes, such as asylum. There is still a popular misconception that the people coming are studying maths at Cambridge, when in fact it is widely abused. The higher education establishment has been complicit in this scam, vocally opposing any restrictions because some of the weaker universities now depend on fee-paying immigrants.

Anyone wishing to study in the United States, Canada and Australia must first have a face-to-face interview by an immigration official, yet this does not deter the supply of physics students to Harvard. Why can’t Britain do the same?"


Many Bay Area deportation cases will be dropped in June

The federal government will begin closing hundreds of Bay Area deportation cases in June, allowing some illegal immigrants a partial reprieve if they have strong community ties and have not committed crimes, according to a statement from the Department of Homeland Security obtained by the Bay Area News Group.

The Executive Office for Immigration Review this summer will suspend the daily schedule of the San Francisco immigration court, one of the busiest in the nation, to allow a team of federal judges and attorneys to scour the entire caseload for low-priority deportation cases to drop.

Among those who will benefit from the court review are students brought to the United States illegally at a young age who are otherwise upstanding residents. While their deportation cases will be halted, the reprieve does not give them legal residency or citizenship and authorities have the ability to seek their deportation later.

Following up on a 6-week pilot program in Baltimore and Denver, immigration authorities will begin rolling out the program at immigration courts across the country.

Of more than 10,000 cases reviewed in the pilot program, judges dropped about 16 percent of the Denver cases and about 10 percent of the Baltimore cases.

Judges will be reassigned to hear detained dockets and Immigration and Customs Enforcement attorneys will devote the added time to review backlogged cases, dropping low-level cases and pursuing those they consider more serious.

The program will begin April 23 in Detroit, New Orleans, Orlando and Seattle. It will move to New York City in May, San Francisco in June and Los Angeles in July, according to the statement.
The Republican chairman of the House Judiciary Committee criticized the move Thursday.

"The Obama administration's decision to expand its backdoor amnesty plan to cities across the United States endangers Americans and insults law enforcement officials," said Rep. Lamar Smith, R-Texas, in a prepared statement.

The Obama administration has deported record numbers of people -- nearly 400,000 last year -- but the number of deportation proceedings began to decline late last year.

Deportation filings dropped by a third in the last quarter of 2011 from the same time in 2010, according to records obtained by Syracuse-based Transactions Records Access Clearinghouse.

The public records researchers believe that the "substantial drop" resulted, in part, from Immigration and Customs Enforcement Director John Morton's June 2011 directive ordering his agents to use more discretion in whom they choose to deport.
The Obama administration also announced in August that it would review all 300,000 pending deportation cases to target criminals, public safety dangers and egregious violators of immigration law.


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