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Fri Jan 10, 2020, 01:40 PM

MIT warns students, staff about visits from ICE

Source: WCVB ABC Boston

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. MIT sent a memo to faculty and staff notifying them that they should expect a visit from ICE and urged cooperation with immigration officials.

That memo, which was obtained by the Boston Globe, said the purpose of ICE's visit is to check the status of foreign postdoctoral students, researchers and visiting scholars.

The checks could also include immigration officials stopping by work sites and laboratories, and they may ask the university how they decided on a foreign student's salary.

The two-page memo was sent faculty-wide Thursday, the Globe reported, and it said federal officials are likely to give them 48 hours' notice,

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Read more: https://www.wcvb.com/article/mit-warns-students-staff-about-visits-from-ice/30466116#

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 03:22 PM

1. "Can't have all that science, noooo, especially fuhrrinner science!"


Those postdocs, researchers and visiting scholars are the life blood of US science. Re-invigorating it in so many ways.

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 03:34 PM

2. That's bone-chilling. Now the Nazis are coming for the scholars...

Welcoming policies for foreign exchange students and scholars have helped give us stature, brilliance, greatness. These policies have given us friends around the world.

I can't even. I just can't.

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 03:39 PM

3. How is it any of their business how they decide on salaries?

 

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Response to vsrazdem (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 04:05 PM

4. When I was an Admin Asst at UCSB, there was a thing called Contracts & Grants...

Which the departmental AAs were tasked with administering. A lot of money comes from the government, one way and another, and Uncle Sam would like to know it is being used as per agreement. If there's a grant from the Rockefellers, same thing -- accountability.

Now that is a whole different kettle of fish from sending federal agents to campuses to rip through the files and question individuals and demand their papers to prove they have a right to be there. That's just terrifying, and the mark of a totalitarian dictatorship.

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Response to vsrazdem (Reply #3)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 04:18 PM

5. Federal grants fund a lot of science.

There are rules attached to ensure no federal regulations are broken.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #5)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 05:13 PM

6. I still don't understand what that has to do with how they decide a foreign student's salary.

 

For example, if a grant says you can only use this much for funding salaries from this grant, if they want to pay more from their own university funds, they certainly are allowed to do that. I just don't see how it is any of their business HOW they decide to pay salaries to foreign students, as long as the funds are all accounted for used appropriately.

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Response to vsrazdem (Reply #6)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 05:37 PM

7. The bigger concern is they don't pay enough

Graduate students, especially foreign ones, are a vulnerable group that are frequently abused and taken advantage of because they are not going to risk future academic careers by complaining.

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Response to hack89 (Reply #7)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 05:51 PM

9. I find it a little hard to believe ICE is worried they aren't paying these kids enough.

 

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Response to vsrazdem (Reply #9)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 09:54 PM

11. This isn't a new thing.

The government has long been concerned that universities hire visa-holders for the purpose of paying the visa-holders less and depressing the salaries of citizens.

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Response to jpak (Original post)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 05:39 PM

8. This is long-standing practice for F and J visas

This is nothing new. In fact, on-site inspections have risen in the past 10-15 years. When I was in college in the 90s as an F-1 visa holder student, there was a site visit and inspection to make sure my university was in compliance. I was interviewed as I am sure other students in F status were interviewed.

The reason for the salary questions has to do with ensuring that foreign students who work in labs as research assistants or other similar positions are fairly compensated in relation to others doing the same task. Universities have been known to pay foreign research assistants less than their U.S. counterpart.

As much as I'd like to blame Trump for this, unfortunately I cannot.

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Response to WilmywoodNCparalegal (Reply #8)

Fri Jan 10, 2020, 05:54 PM

10. Well, I guess that could be, but they now have such a bad rep it leaves lots of questions.

 

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