Foreign Student Program Oversight Is Sleepy and Passive

By David North on January 9, 2018

The Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) is the governmental entity that is supposed to run the foreign student program. SEVP is part of ICE and has a staff of 390 people, according to p. 87 of the proposed Department of Homeland Security budget.

One of SEVP's duties is to publish a long online listing of the academic institutions that it has licensed to teach foreign students. This listing, "Study in the States", is used by potential foreign students to see if the college they are contemplating is, in fact, licensed by the U.S. government. Importantly, in the field of migration control it is used by consular officials to determine if an applicant for an F-1 visa has been accepted by a school that is licensed for foreign students. Only listed schools can issue the paper that leads to an F-1 visa.

One presumes that only schools that can actually accept foreign students would be so listed.

But the American College of Commerce & Technology (ACCT), in Falls Church, Va., was ordered not to accept any students, of any kind, by the State Council of Higher Education in Virginia as of May 1, 2017, and was still listed by SEVP as a licensed school that month.

In November 2017, SCHEV announced it was closing the school. It stayed on the list. (Despite the school's numerous failings, SEVP did not take any action to terminate its license. SEVP's national headquarters are in Arlington, Va., about 10 miles from the ACCT building).

In December the school itself announced that it was closing. It stayed on the list.

It closed on December 30. On January 8, the SEVP list still carried its name, though it had not been accepting new students for more than half a year.

Maybe SEVP stands for "sleepy, ever very passive".

(This is doubly disturbing because SEVP also oversees the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program which pays employers to hire foreign college grads rather than American ones. Employers of OPT workers, unlike employers of resident workers, are excused from paying payroll taxes.)