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India questions deportation of Indian students from US

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Washington: India questioned the deportation of some students from India when they came to the US with valid student visas to study at two Silicon Valley institutions which have denied being “blacklisted.

“There is definitely a glitch within the US system”, sources said pointing out that the US consulate in Hyderabad issued F-1 student visas and they carried the requisite I-20 forms issued by the educational institutions certifying their admission.

The Indian Embassy here has taken up the matter with the State Department, the National Security Council and the Department of Homeland Security. Their response is still awaited.

Sources also said that a couple of Indian consular officers who had gone to the San Francisco airport were not allowed to meet the Indian students who had been denied entry to the US and put back on flights to India.

On reports that some students had been denied entry because they had failed to satisfactorily answer immigration officers’ questions at the port of entry, sources said there could be one or two such cases, but wholesale deportation of students pointed to a problem in the US system itself.

The sources also pointed out that the 14 Indian students from India who were deported last week and 19 others not allowed to board their Air India flights to San Francisco had all sought admission to Silicon Valley University (SVU) in San Jose and Northwestern Polytechnic in Fremont.

The two schools, meanwhile, asserted that they had not been “blacklisted” and US Customs and Border Protection officers were just implementing stricter screening security measures, which are not specific to their students, but to all international students entering the US.

Advising all new and returning students to bring original documentation, SVU said, “there were rumours reported by the media in India stating that SVU is being targeted by the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP).”

This, it said, was “Due to the fact that there were some new SVU students being removed or deported back to India because they were not able to answer the questions adequately to the satisfaction of the inspectors at the port of entry.”

SVU said it did not “welcome those who intend to abuse their F-1 VISAs and have other intentions besides studying in our university.’

NPU president Peter Hsieh assured “students, families, and friends” that “my team and I are deeply concerned and doing our best to clear NPU’s name and fight for your rights.”

As “definitive proof that NPU is NOT blacklisted,” it provided “evidence of a sample of new students that continue to enter the US with F-1 visas with NPU as the designated school.”

“The samples show entry on the December 20, 21 and 22, which are all dates after the false information reported in the media in India,” it said.

Students flew on Emirates, Etihad, and Singapore Airlines, NPU said claiming “Most students had to go through secondary inspections, but a few did not (only 5 minutes of questioning).”

It had also demanded that Air India allow all NPU students to board and will contact any airline that causes such problems for our students.

It had also contacted US immigration officials and were seeking officials and media in India.

“We have learned that a small percentage of international students are being sent back to India, but only those that fail their immigration interviews,” NPU said.(Arun Kumar, IANS)

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U.S. Library of Congress will not collect every tweet on twitter

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FILE - The Twitter app is seen on a mobile phone in Philadelphia, April 26, 2017
U.S. Library of Congress will not collect every tweet on twitter. VOA

US, Dec 31, 2017: The U.S. Library of Congress says it will no longer collect every single tweet published on Twitter as it has been doing for the past 12 years.

The library said this week that it can no longer collect everything across the entire social media platform because of recent changes Twitter has made, including allowing longer tweets, photos and videos.

It said in a blog post this week that its first objective with collecting and archiving tweets was “to document the emergence of online social media for future generations.” The library says it has fulfilled that objective and no longer needs to be a “comprehensive” collector of tweets.

FILE - In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, the Library of Congress is seen in Washington.
FILE – In this Dec. 19, 2013 file photo, the Library of Congress is seen in Washington. VOA

The Library of Congress said it will still collect and archive tweets in the future, but will do so on a more selective basis. It said going forward “the tweets collected and archived will be thematic and event-based, including events such as elections, or themes of ongoing national interest, e.g. public policy.”

The library said it generally does not collect media comprehensively, but said it made an exception for public tweets when the social media platform was first developed.

The library said it will keep its previous archive of tweets from 2006-2017 to help people understand the rise of social media and to offer insight into the public mood during that time. “Throughout its history, the Library has seized opportunities to collect snapshots of unique moments in human history and preserve them for future generations,” it said.

“The Twitter Archive may prove to be one of this generation’s most significant legacies to future generations. Future generations will learn much about this rich period in our history, the information flows, and social and political forces that help define the current generation,” it said. (VOA)

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