After 9/11, student visas were supposed to have gotten greater oversight to prevent scams, but not so much, it turns out because universities like foreign students who write the big tuition checks.
Daniel Higgins doesn't look like a Middle Eastern student, but officials say he routinely portrayed himself as one for almost a decade, getting paid up to $1,500 per student to attend their classes and take exams so they could keep their visas current and remain in the U.S.Remember that President Bush set up a program to bring Saudi students to colleges in this country to expose them to American values — around 20,000 over four years.)
Officials say that records seized from Higgins' home in Laguna Niguel, Calif., show that more than 100 students from Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Qatar, Lebanon, Turkey and the United Arab Emirates hired him to do their classwork and take their tests.
Higgins, 46, pleaded not guilty to conspiracy to commit immigration fraud when he appeared in Orange County Superior Court in Santa Ana on Monday.
Six others — Mohammed Alnuaim, Abdullah Alhogail, Khalid Almenaibi, Saeed Alfalahi, Ibrahim Almansoori and Mohamed Almehairi — were also arrested Monday and appeared with Higgins before a U.S. magistrate. All were charged with immigration fraud. [...]
More than 220,000 foreign students study each year in American colleges and universities, including about 15,500 from the Middle East. [California Man Took College Exams for Middle Eastern Students, ICE Officials Say March 9, 2010]