ICE Press Release Raises Questions About Foreign Student Enforcement

By David North on May 14, 2018

Foreign students who drop out of status should be routinely expelled from this country by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement).

Yet the implication in a recent ICE press release about a Chinese student seemed to be that only foreign students who create special worries (he bought some "high-powered firearms") are singled out for removal.

Instead of citing what one hopes are actions taken against many foreign student drop-outs, the press release focused on school safety, "See Something, Say Something", the fine cooperation of three law enforcement agencies, and quotations from three named local law enforcement officials.

The further implication in the release was that his non-attendance of classes was simply a useful excuse for his forced departure, and not something that alone should have caused him to leave the country anyway. Or, as the release puts it, rather opaquely:

Sun's nonimmigrant status was terminated after he purchased high-powered firearms for noncompliance with regulations unrelated to the firearms purchase. As an F-1 international student, he was required to attend classes, which he did not.

Wenliang Sun was apparently in no danger of being accused of being one of the best and the brightest. At 26 he was attending a pre-college program at Central Florida University in Orlando, a huge institution; that program, according to the release "prepares international students for success at an American university." The release does not express any concerns about why someone with those non-credentials is admitted to the United States at all.

My sense is that the release accidentally told the truth, that there is virtually no organized effort to ship ex-F-1 students home, and that this only happens when something dramatic happens.

As to the general picture, I hope I am wrong.

On the other hand, in this individual case, expelling an alien who has purchased "high-powered firearms" is always a good idea.