Deported students can explore legal options

Indian students deported by U.S. authorities can take legal recourse by challenging denial of their entry into the U.S. despite a valid visa, on the grounds of human rights violation and natural justice.

Senior education consultants say that the U.S. government has to honour the visas issued by their consulates until they give the visa holders an opportunity to prove that they violated the norms or committed fraud to get the visa or indulged in a criminal activity after boarding the plane and landing at the port of entry. “There is a legal option to be explored and genuine students can question their deportation,” said Nishidhar Borra of Storm Consultancy.

Mr. Borra, who has more than 20 years of experience as a foreign education advisor, says the U.S. authorities have to answer questions raised by the students over their deportation and Indian courts will definitely take up the case as it involves denial of ‘natural justice’. Education advisors remind that students were denied justice as they did not commit any crime or violated U.S. laws. “If they violate the laws after stepping into their country, the U.S. can deport them. But here they were not even allowed entry and no consular help was provided to any student,” felt a group of education advisors who met in the wake of the deportation controversy. Apparently, the students were assisted by these consultants for getting admission and preparation of requisite documents.

Unfortunately, not many students are willing to use this option fearing their entry into the U.S. will be closed forever. Another view point is that a lot of these deportees had submitted fake financial documents and they don’t want to be seen on the wrong side of the law. Moreover, this is a new terrain for lawyers here and not many lawyers specialising in immigration are available here.

The episode, however, exposed the lack of unity among consultants. Over 70 consultants met recently and decided to form an association to fight united on this issue, as they are also answerable to parents and students, and keep their business interests intact. The decision is yet to come.

A senior education advisor unwilling to be identified said a few years ago, several Indian consultants joined the American International Recruitment Council (AIRC), which was supposed to coordinate between US varsities and education consultants. “But not many chose to join as it turned out to be more of a commercial organisation than a professional body.”

Unlike the U.S., the Australian foreign education sector in India is more organised and works professionally coordinating between Australian universities, the government and the consultants.

The Association of Australian Education Representatives in India (AAERI) based out of Australia and India works closely with the Australian High Commission to resolve issues between students, agents and the authorities during a crisis like this. In fact, when Australia was rocked by alleged racial attacks on Indian students in 2009, AAERI played a key role in resolving it, leading to series of reforms in visa issuance. It is time Indian agents recruiting students for U.S. varsities also form an organisation and work closely with the U.S. embassy here or the concerned U.S. authorities, or else the unsavoury incidents are likely to recur and harm the students’ interests.

U.S. authorities have to answer questions raised by the students over their deportation and Indian courts will take up the case as it involves denial of ‘natural justice’

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Printable version | Nov 25, 2021 7:21:55 AM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/cities/Hyderabad/Deported-students-can-explore-legal-options/article13985568.ece

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