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US varsity blames Air India, students for visa mess

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Washington: A US university, whose Indian students faced deportation in recent weeks, has blamed Air India and some of the deported students for the prevailing confusion on the issue.

“I want to share with everyone my strong belief that these difficulties arose solely because of the actions of Air India,” Peter Hsieh president of the Northwestern Polytechnic University (NPU) said in an email to its students.

“At this time, we do not know why Air India has undertaken these actions to cause irreparable harm to our university and tarnish its reputation and incite great distress in our students and their families…we can only speculate as to Air India’s motives and assume Air India’s recent actions are related to their precarious financial position,” he said.

Hsieh alleged that Air India is preventing students from boarding the plane because of the fear of financial burden in case students are deported from the US.

The statement has also been posted on the university’s website. There was no immediate comment from Air India. Hsieh said the university continues to witness a large number of students successfully arriving and entering the US.

“Although it is still early, as our incoming students for Spring Semester 2016 begin reporting to the university today, we continue to witness a large number of students successfully arriving and entering the US. We have met with quite a few who have shared their experiences,” he said.

“We have been informed that many, but not all, are going through secondary inspection. As long as students have proper documentation and are able to answer questions, they are being allowed into the US. They also report that this is not limited to NPU or F-1 students, but also to other foreign traveller on H-1 visa and the like,” Hsieh said.

He also blamed the deported students who exaggerated the situation. “We also believe that the false allegations were further exaggerated by certain returning students. Rather than informing their parents that they did poorly in their interviews, some simply pointed the blame at NPU as being blacklisted and conveniently referencing news reports as support,” he said.

“The announcement by the Indian and US governments coupled with the evidence of students continuing to enter into the US clearly contradicted general statements that all NPU students were being turned back by US immigration,” said the university president.

Hsieh claimed that a small percentage of international students are being sent back to India, but only those that fail their immigration interviews, for example by communicating that they are coming to the US to work illegally or are unable to show sufficient identification or financial support.

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