Van Duyne Leads Letter Calling For Investigations as College Students on Visas Might've Broken Laws During Protests, Encampments

Van Duyne Leads Letter Calling For Investigations as College Students on Visas Might've Broken Laws During Protests, Encampments

Jackson Bakich
Jackson Bakich
May 13, 2024

Representative Beth Van Duyne (R-TX) sent a letter to U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP)  demanding they investigate “possible cases of visa fraud committed by colleges and universities,” especially those who are on limited educational visas and have been involved in illegal activities on college campuses such as encampments.

The May 7 letter sent to CBP as well as Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas mentioned Jewish students being targeted at protests and encampments around the country.

“Since the horrific attacks and subsequent violence carried out by Hamas and Iran-backed proxy groups against the State of Israel on October 7, 2023, there has been a dramatic uptick in antisemitic protests, rallies, and demonstrations expressing support for Israel’s enemies and, at times, explicitly calling for violence against Jewish and Israeli Americans,” wrote Rep. Van Duyne with the support of others.

Rep. Van Duyne continued, “Demonstration activity on college campuses specifically has spiked in the last several weeks, particularly at well-established universities such as Columbia University. In many instances, Jewish activities and spaces, such as Cornell University’s Jewish center, have been directly targeted by demonstrators. The concern over additional violence by the protestors has had consequences ranging from canceled and remote-only classes to canceled graduation ceremonies, leaving innocent bystanders forced to bear the brunt of the consequences.”

Furthermore, Rep. Van Duyne expanded upon her and her colleagues’ concerns surrounding the legitimacy of citizenship of those breaking the law during the encampments.

“Of particular concern is the unwillingness and at times outright refusal of university officials to enforce school codes of conduct. There have been reports of failures of university administrators to apply consequences for violation of codes of conduct, such as suspension, to foreign students who are in the U.S. on limited educational visas explicitly due to the potential legal ramifications, such as confiscations of lawful status and/or deportation, wrote the Texas lawmaker. “Failure to apply consequences to vias holders directly impacts these students’ eligibility to remain in the U.S. lawfully and doing so for that purpose would constitute visa fraud. The federal government has a responsibility to ensure visa-holding immigrants are adhering to the same laws and codes of conduct to which American citizens are also bound.”

The letter calls for an investigation into the schools of Columbia, MIT, and UT Austin.

Moreover, Representative Byron Donalds (R-FL) released a statement surrounding his support for the letter.

"Universities have failed to apply consequences to foreign students who are in the United States on limited educational visas. I stand with Rep. Beth Van Duyne in demanding that U.S. Customs and Border Protection investigate any possible cases of visa fraud regarding those involved in recent illegal activity on America's campuses. If you are not a U.S. citizen and you commit crimes in this country, your visa should be revoked."

The state of Florida was most recently hit with headline-worthy protests as three women – part of a group known as “Queers for Palestine” – blocked exit 67 on Interstate-4 near Disney World holding signs that stated “Free Palestine” and “Lookup Nakba 1948.” The three women were arrested and charged with misdemeanor refusal to obey a police officer, according to Fox News.

Governor Ron DeSantis (R-FL) praised Florida Highway Patrol for setting a possible “world record” for removing the protestors off the busy interstate and described protesting on a highway as “No bueno.”

The Florida governor mentioned that the group might try to block traffic once again in Miami, but ultimately he doesn’t think they will.

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Jackson Bakich

Jackson Bakich

Born in Orlando but raised in Lake County, Florida, Jackson Bakich is currently a senior at Florida State University. Growing up in the sunshine state, Bakich co-hosted the political talk radio show "Lake County Roundtable" (WLBE) and was a frequent guest for "Lake County Sports Show" (WQBQ). Currently, he is the Sports Editor of the FSView and the co-host of "Tomahawk Talk" (WVFS), a sports talk radio program covering Florida State athletics in Tallahassee.

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