Dear Mr. Anthony D. Romero,
I congratulate you and the entire peaceful army of ACLU in their continuous efforts to protect the civil liberties of The Common man.
I am a newly joined ‘Guardian of Liberty’ at your selfless serving prestigious organization. This is to bring to your notice a highly sensitive issue, which has jeopardized the careers and lives of over 1500 international students living in The United States of America.
You may be aware of the fact that Tri-Valley University in Pleasanton, CA has been shut down by the federal authorities for allegedly perpetrating a major immigration fraud on January 19th, 2011. The immediate action taken by the federal authorities was to file a civil lawsuit against Ms. Susan Su, Director of Tri-Valley University.
Unfortunately, the entire focus has shifted to the students enrolled in this University, who have been unjustifiably been detained, interrogated, issued NTAs and have been put into deportation proceedings just for the fact that they have been enrolled in an alleged scam university. The SEVIS (the actual student status) of all these students has been inactivated by the federal authorities, leaving no option for the students to transfer to another University, leaving them out-of-status in this country. The nature of the crime definitely needs serious attention. However, we need to understand that soft-targeting one particular community based on assumptions and self-analyzed judgment is not justifiable, and is definitely not a healthy way to operate in a free society.
The kind of impact this incident has caused in the lives of all the affected students is of unimaginable proportions. Students have been literally living every second in fear of getting detained and deported, and this fear factor doesn’t arise because they are guilty. This fear comes from the quarter of their lives which they have invested in tailoring their own careers, sacrificing many pleasures in search of a better future, a meaningful life, and a very tough journey to realize their dreams and aspirations. We celebrated our achievements, challenged our own abilities and dealt with unforeseen adversities at every stage in our quest for a blissful destiny. Many of us have reached a point where we have already started to be of some use to the society whether it is contributing to Earthquake in Haiti, standing against Global terrorism, preserving the environment, or by striving to achieve a more peaceful world for the future generations. All of a sudden something like this incident happens, and thousands of lives become not only irrelevant to the society, but would in fact be treated as malice to the society.
It is my opinion as a Research Scholar that “many of the people in USA don’t really understand the cultural differences, and the kind of repercussions this incident can have on the lives of not only the students of a particular community who are being affected by this incident, but also their parents who have high hopes on the abilities of their sons and daughters”.
The issue has gained a lot of momentum in the media and political circles. Yet, due to diplomatic priorities and limited help from our Government, we haven’t been fortunate enough to see any kind of relief on the horizon. Our fate continues to hang on the edge of a sword with everything in the hands of The Immigration and Customs Enforcement authorities.
I do understand that ACLU has many more serious issues like Arizona immigration law and Patriot act, and we definitely don’t expect you to support a cause just for the sake of a couple of thousand international students, I still want to reiterate the fact that this issue needs attention, at least a discussion among ACLU circles because if this is happening to thousands of legal students, god forbid, it may happen to millions of hardworking people who came here in search of a better life, and who have actually helped in building this great nation.
My only request to you Sir, please kindly bring this matter up for discussion in our ACLU circles. I do understand that there is a lot of cynicism surrounding this matter, but I beg you to think from a student’s perspective. I would be more than happy to give you a complete picture of the case, because it is complicated and cannot be adjudicated based on generalization of one particular community or a few individuals.
Please note: For more information about the latest developments on the Tri-Valley University incident, and to read the stories of the students affected by its closure, please kindly visit www.immigrationlegalblog.com
Thanking you for all your support for otherwise jeopardized liberties,
Vivek Bhoomi (Tri-Valley University victim)
“we came from a country where we have a Goddess for education- Goddess Saraswati”