The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

The Independent Student Newspaper of St. John's University

The Torch

View this profile on Instagram

The Torch (@sju_torch) • Instagram photos and videos

Photo Courtesy / YouTube Jojo Siwa
Jojo Siwa’s Bad Karma
Catherine Pascal, Staff Writer • May 3, 2024
Torch Photo / Anya Geiling
Live Show Spotlight: Roger Eno
Anya Geiling, Contributing Writer • April 30, 2024
Torch Photo / Olivia Rainson
Speed Dating Your Prospective Professors
Isabella Acierno, Outreach Manager • April 29, 2024

INS Reforms Result in New Student Tracking Procedure

In an effort to prevent terrorist from using student visas to enter the country, federal legislation has proposed a new set of procedures to monitor and track foreign students studying in the United States.

The new system, which is supposed to be up and running by January 2003 in all higher education institutions that enroll foreign students, creates a better source of “electronic communication” between these institutions and Immigration and Naturalization services. The new system requires and allows colleges to report to INS when an I-20 form is issued, which allows a foreign student to enter the country, and when the student has enrolled.

In response, INS will inform these colleges and universities when the student was given the visa and when the student has entered the country.

June Sadowski-Devarez director of International Student and Scholar services, said that these procedures and exchanges of information are new, but reporting of such information is not. She said that institutions that are against the new system have no right to complain.
Sadowski-Devarez, said that new procedures in tracking students will not be as effective in fighting terrorism as the government expects.

“I have issues with it [tracking program] but I really have no right to express these issues since the law has been there for years. Since Immigration has not required us [institutions] to report since 1986, people are getting lazy and are saying they don’t want to do it,” she said.

After the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979, INS began requiring colleges and universities to report when students arrived and left the institution they were to attend, to ensure the students were not violating the time and status of their visas. Eventually Immigration told colleges to stop reporting this information, but only do so upon request by INS, because it was too much for officials to keep track off the information that was sent.

As a result, INS established a new reporting system in which students would report to immigration services at their country border and a print out would be sent to the colleges on who to expect arriving at their institution, according to a report in New York Times.

Sadowski-Devarez, a 17-year veteran in international education, said the information on these print out sheets arrived out dated and inaccurate, having listed students that did not arrive at St. John’s at all or who had graduated and already left the country.

Despite the extra work and money institutions may to have impose, if the program is instituted, Sadowski-Devarez’s main concern is the singling out of foreign students enrolled at higher education institutions, by the government.

“This is kind of discriminatory against [foreign] students. They [the government] are ruling out schools because we have the information available,” she said. “If they think that doing this tracking system is going to protect us in any way against terrorism, it’s a very small piece of the puzzle.”

Student visas make up only two of the 65 major classifications that immigrants can fall under in order to enter the country. The others are not tracked often, if at all, and immigrants who claim asylum and disappear into the system are left unfound, according to Sadowski-Devarez.

“Nobody ever talks about those things. They target schools because that is all they know,” she said.

Currently students can still obtain visas from the U.S., but any student male between the ages of 18 to 40 applying for entry into the U.S. from countries on the State Department’s list of sponsors of terrorism (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) are held 30 days so background inspections can be done to prove they pose no threat to national security, according to the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education.

Despite the government as an obstacle ISS has to assure foreign students and parents that their perceptions on war in the United States, does not mean that “New York is a war zone” Sadowski-Devarez said. New student enrollment has plummeted 25 percent compared to 60 new students last spring semester.

Although no other new procedures have been put in place ISS continues to follow record keeping and reporting laws.

“We are also looking at ways we would adopt and prepare for the process,” said Sadowski-Deveraz.

“Before Sept. 11 they [the government] were the discussing eliminating the law. After Sept 11 there is no question it is going to come true.”

June Sadowski-Devarez, director of International Student and Scholar Services, said that these procedures and exchanges of information are new, but reporting of such information is not. She said that institutions that are against the new system have no right to complain.

Sadowski-Devarez, said that new procedures in tracking students will not be as effective in fighting terrorism as the government expects.

“I have issues with it [tracking program] but I really have no right to express these issues since the law has been there for years. Since Immigration has not required us [institutions] to report since 1986, people are getting lazy and are saying they don’t want to do it,” she said.

After the Iran Hostage Crisis in 1979, INS began requiring colleges and universities to report when students arrived and left the institution they were to attend, to ensure the students were not violating the time and status of their visas. Eventually Immigration told colleges to stop reporting this information, but only do so upon request by INS, because it was too much for officials to keep track off the information that was sent.

As a result, INS established a new reporting system in which students would report to immigration services at their country border and a print out would be sent to the colleges on who to expect arriving at their institution, according to a report in New York Times.

Sadowski-Devarez, a 17-year veteran in international education, said the information on these print out sheets arrived out dated and inaccurate, having listed students that did not arrive at St. John’s at all or who had graduated and already left the country.

Despite the extra work and money institutions may have to impose, if the program is instituted, Sadowski-Devarez’s main concern is the singling out of foreign students enrolled at higher education institutions, by the government.

“This is kind of discriminatory against [foreign] students. They [the government] are ruling out schools because we have the information available,” she said. “If they think that doing this tracking system is going to protect us in any way against terrorism, it’s a very small piece of the puzzle.”

Student visas make up only two of the 65 major classifications that immigrants can fall under in order to enter the country. The others are not tracked often, if at all, and immigrants who claim asylum and disappear into the system are left unfound, according to Sadowski-Devarez.

“Nobody ever talks about those things. They target schools because that is all they know,” she said.

Currently students can still obtain visas from the U.S., but any student male between the ages of 18 to 40 applying for entry into the U.S. from countries on the State Department’s list of sponsors of terrorism (Cuba, Iran, Iraq, Libya, North Korea, Sudan and Syria) are held 30 days so background inspections can be done to prove they pose no threat to national security, according to the Student Affairs Administration in Higher Education.

Despite the government as an obstacle ISSS has to assure foreign students and parents that their perceptions on war in the United States, does not mean that “New Yor
k is a war zone” Sadowski-Devarez said. New student enrollment has plummeted 25 percent compared to 60 new students last spring semester.

Although no other new procedures have been put in place ISSS continues to follow record keeping and reporting laws.

“We are also looking at ways we would adopt and prepare for the process,” said Sadowski-Deveraz.

“Before Sept. 11 they [the government] were discussing eliminating the law. After Sept. 11 there is no question it is going to come true.”

Leave a Comment
Donate to The Torch
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Your donation will support the student journalists of St. John's University. Your contribution will allow us to purchase equipment and cover our annual website hosting costs.

More to Discover
Donate to The Torch
$0
$500
Contributed
Our Goal

Comments (0)

We love comments and feedback, but we ask that you please be respectful in your responses.
All The Torch Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *