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Berkeley students cooking up fraudulent in-person class to thwart ICE enforcements

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University of California, Berkeley students are hoping to help international students on campus avoid deportation by launching a fake course.

Hundreds of students at the left-leaning institution have reportedly been discussing the idea, which is allegedly supported by at least one faculty member. The plan to create an in-person course for international students on F-1 visas, essentially thwarting new U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement regulations, was making the rounds with social media groups related to Berkeley, Fox News reported.

(Image: KPIX screenshot)

A since-deleted tweet by a student about the fake class, which linked to a Facebook post, was shared more than 25,000 times before being removed.

“[B]erkeley students are creating a 1-unit, in-person, student-run class to help international students avoid deportation due to the new ICE regulations,” a Berkeley Urban Studies student wrote, Fox News reported. “[L]ove my school sometimes.”

The Facebook post revealed that someone in the school community had “found a faculty member who will sponser [sic] this.”

It also noted that a syllabus was being created for the fraudulent class and that the course “is ONLY for students who are international and need a physical component to remain in the United States.”

The post was circulated thousands of times, according to Fox News, which noted that many, like Deborah Miranda, shared the information on their own Facebook pages.

Passing this on – one idea for a work-around with the new ICE regulations for Dreamers.

Posted by Deborah Miranda on Tuesday, July 7, 2020

“Passing this on – one idea for a work-around with the new ICE regulations for Dreamers,” Miranda wrote, incorrectly noting the ICE regulations affect recipients of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

New ICE rules announced Monday affect international students whose colleges and universities are requiring only online-only learning due to the coronavirus pandemic. The Student and Exchange Visitor Program was modified, noting that students with F-1 visas attending “schools operating entirely online” will not be able to “take a full online course load and remain in the United States.”

“The U.S. Department of State will not issue visas to students enrolled in schools and/or programs that are fully online for the fall semester nor will U.S. Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States,” the ICE news release read. “Active students currently in the United States enrolled in such programs must depart the country or take other measures, such as transferring to a school with in-person instruction to remain in lawful status. If not, they may face immigration consequences including, but not limited to, the initiation of removal proceedings.”

Schools offering a mixture of online and in-person classes are required to certify “that the program is not entirely online, that the student is not taking an entirely online course load this semester, and that the student is taking the minimum number of online classes required to make normal progress in their degree program.”

President Trump and his administration were slammed by the left for the change and, at Berkeley, apparently a plan was launched to circumvent the law.

Tiffany Earley Spadoni, an Assistant Professor at University of Central Florida, wasn’t sure the Berkeley stunt would work but commended the effort.

“F-1 students are only allowed to take one course in an online modality each semester, unfortunately,” Spadoni said, according to Fox News. “I don’t think offering a one-credit hour course will meet the administrative requirements. But it is great to see creative solutions being discussed.”

The public university, which receives taxpayer funding, reportedly did not respond to Fox News’ requests for comment.

Twitter users weighed in on the report about students planning to get around the federal law.

 

 

Frieda Powers

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