News From the Border

Providing the news from a different front but from a war that we must win as well! I recognize the poverty and desperate conditions that many Latinos live in. We, as the USA, have a responsibility to do as much as we can to reach out to aid and assist spiritually with the Gospel and naturally with training, technology and resources. But poverty gives no one the right to break the laws of another sovereign nation.

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

U.S. student visas go mostly to the rich and successful

Applicants must have good grades and high incomes — and even then, securing one proves far from easy

By Brady McCombs

ARIZONA DAILY STAR

Applicants for student visas must be excellent students with a command of English and enough money — $32,000 at the UA — to prove they, or their families, can pay out-of-state tuition and living expenses for at least one year.

Still, that's no guarantee of approval. In fiscal year 2007, the U.S. State Department rejected nearly a third of the 432,000 student visa applications submitted worldwide.

Azuara is one of 2,300 international students at the UA. Nationwide, she is one of 14,922 from Mexico and 978,906 in the United States, according to figures from Immigration and Customs Enforcement that also include students on two other types of less-common visas.

Becoming an international student isn't possible for many families around the world.

"It's a huge investment for a family to send their children here," says Joanne Lagasse-Long, director of the International student programs and services at the UA.

If a family can afford to send a child to study in the United States, it usually means they are doing well socially and economically in their home country and are unlikely to consider entering illegally, she says.

Once here, students are kept under a close watch by Immigration and Customs Enforcement's Web-based Student and Exchange Visitor Program, which monitors students and their dependents throughout their approved stay in the U.S. education system.

If students don't have a full course load or are working in an unauthorized job, universities are required to report them to Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

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