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美国的“钓鱼执法”:设空壳学校打击签证诈骗

更新时间:2016-4-7 10:20:06 来源:纽约时报中文网 作者:佚名

New Jersey University Was Fake, but Visa Fraud Arrests Are Real
美国的“钓鱼执法”:设空壳学校打击签证诈骗

On the surface, the University of Northern New Jersey seemed legitimate. It had a website, with a seal featuring the Latin words “Humanus, Scientia, Integritas,” a list of business-oriented degrees offered and a promise of “an exceptional educational experience.”

表面上,北新泽西大学(University of Northern New Jersey)看似合法。学校有自己的网站,印章上用拉丁文写着“人文、求知、正直”(Humanus,Scientia,Integritas)。网站上还列出了一系列商业方向的学位,并承诺提供“非同寻常的教育体验”。

It was so exceptional it did not exist.

这所学校的确太不寻常了,它根本就不存在。

Instead, the university was a fake, set up by the Homeland Security Department in 2012 as part of a sting operation to ensnare criminals involved in student visa fraud.

实际上,这是国土安全部在2012年成立的一所空壳学校,属于一场钓鱼行动的一部分。该行动意在诱捕参与学生签证诈骗的犯罪分子。

On Tuesday, that operation resulted in the arrest of 21 people in New Jersey and the state of Washington, the United States attorney for New Jersey, Paul J. Fishman, and Sarah Saldaña, the director of United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement, announced at a news conference in Newark.

本周二,驻新泽西州的联邦检察官保罗·J·菲什曼(Paul J. Fishman)和美国移民及海关执法局(United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement,简称ICE)局长莎拉·萨尔达尼亚(Sarah Saldaña)在纽瓦克的新闻发布会上宣布,新泽西州和华盛顿州共有21人在行动中被捕。

The people arrested were brokers who recruited foreign students, mainly from China and India, to an institution that they knew would not have real classes in order to maintain student visas. The brokers, working with people posing as university officials, charged the students fees in a scheme that allowed the students to stay in the country. They also arranged for jobs, and some of the employers were also issued warrants for arrest.

这些被捕的人是代理。他们明知上述学校并没有真的开设课程,却为其招收外国学生,以获得学生签证。这些留学生主要来自中国和印度。代理和假扮成学校官员的人合谋,向学生收取费用,让他们得以留在美国。他们还给学生安排工作,执法部门也对涉事的部分雇主签发了逮捕令。

Some brokers received commissions from the undercover officials worth $1,200 to $2,000 on average for each student they recruited, Ms. Saldaña said. As part of the sting operation, other brokers received illicit payments for placing students in jobs.

萨尔达尼亚表示,每招收一名学生,这些代理从来自官方的卧底人员处收取平均1200至2000美元的佣金。此次诱捕行动中,其他一些代理会为学生安排工作,并凭此非法收取费用。

Some of those arrested include legal permanent residents and naturalized citizens. Six agents arrested were from New York City, including three from Flushing, Queens.

部分被捕者是合法永久居民或已入籍公民。落网的代理中,有六人来自纽约市,其中三人来自皇后区的法拉盛。

“Our message is pretty loud and clear,” Ms. Saldaña said in an interview. “We’re out there, we have intelligence to identify you, we’re going to find you and bring you to justice.”

“我们要传达的讯息非常响亮和清晰,”萨尔达尼亚在接受采访时说。“我们明白是怎么回事,我们掌握了情报,知道你们是谁。我们会找到你们,将你们绳之以法。”

The University of Northern New Jersey, established in 2012 with the address of an office building in Cranford, N.J., may have been billed as an institution of higher learning, but no learning took place. It purported to offer undergraduate and graduate degree programs in areas like accounting, marketing and health care management. To lure unsuspecting recruiters, it was listed as state-licensed and certified by the Homeland Security Department. But there were no classes, no faculty members and no degrees over the last three years.

北新泽西大学成立于2012年,用的地址是新泽西州克兰福德的一处办公楼。这所学校虽说标榜为一所高等教育机构,但实际上,这里什么教育都没有。学校宣称提供会计、营销和医疗管理等领域的本科和研究生学位课程。为了引诱毫无戒心的招生人员,它还被列为获得了州级许可的学校,并得到了国土安全部的认证。但过去三年里,这里没有开课、没有教职员工、没有颁发过学位。

One thousand “students” who knowingly enrolled for at least 45 days at the university will shortly be receiving notices to appear in immigration court, and will ultimately have their visas revoked, the government said. Mr. Fishman said all of the recruited students were already living in the United States and were looking for a way to stay. Many did not stay in the New York metropolitan area, but lived and worked throughout the country.

有一千名“学生”在知情的情况下在该校注册了至少45天。政府称,他们很快将收到在移民法院出庭的传票,其签证最终也将注销。菲什曼称,招到的所有学生都已经在美国了,正在想办法留下来。很多人并未待在纽约大都会区,他们的工作和居住地遍及全美。

The sting operation, the government said, was a way to understand the extent of the criminal network behind visa fraud, including how students are recruited, how fake universities work and what happens after the students are enrolled.

政府称,此次诱捕行动是了解签证诈骗背后的犯罪网络规模的一个途径,包括如何招生、假学校如何运作,以及学生注册之后又会发生什么。

About 1.2 million students are currently in the United States on student visas, a majority of whom are legitimately attending universities, government officials said.

政府官员称,美国目前有大约120万持学生签证的人,其中大部分在合法地上大学。

There have been several high-profile student visa fraud cases in recent years from California to New York, which represent a security concern for a government under pressure to screen visa applicants for possible terrorism ties.

近年来,从加利福尼亚到纽约,全美各地出现了多起备受关注的学生签证诈骗事件。对政府而言,这代表着一个安全隐患。政府正承受着压力,需要对签证申请人进行筛查,排除可能和恐怖主义有联系的申请者。

The most prominent arrest in the case of sham universities, also known as visa mills, was in 2011. Susan Xiao-Ping Su, the founder of Tri-Valley University, in Northern California, was sentenced to 16 years in prison. The university had offered classes in engineering and medicine, but did not require that students attend them. More than 1,500 students, mostly from India, were affected, and not all knew that they were being defrauded.

最有名的“野鸡大学”——又叫签证工厂——拘捕行动发生在2011年。当时,北加州三谷大学(Tri-Valley University)的创始人苏小平(Susan Xiao-Ping Su)被判16年监禁。该校开设了工程和医学方面的课程,但并不要求学生到校上课。事件中有1500多名学生受到影响,大部分来自印度。并不是所有人都知道自己被骗了。

In January, in a case brought by Preet Bharara, the United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, three executives of Micropower Career Institute, a for-profit college with five locations in the New York City-New Jersey area, pleaded guilty to visa fraud. Among other offenses, the executives took $7.4 million from foreign students in exchange for visas, prosecutors said.

今年1月,在纽约州南区联邦检察官普里特·巴拉拉(Preet Bharara)提起的一桩案件中,在纽约市和新泽西州有五所分校的微动力职业学院(Micropower Career Institute)三名高管对签证诈骗指控表示认罪。检察部门称,他们的罪行包括,以办理签证作为交换,从外国学生那里收取了740万美元。

In 2012, a Government Accountability Office report faulted Immigration and Customs Enforcement for not providing enough control in the verification process of institutions and applicants under the Student and Exchange Visitor Information System. Officials with ICE said it had since been trying to tighten its accreditation protocols.

2012年,美国政府问责局(Government Accountability Office)的一份报告指责移民及海关执法局在核查学生和交流访问学者信息系统(Student and Exchange Visitor Information System)中的机构和申请者时,未进行足够的控制。ICE的官员表示,自那以后,该机构一直在努力加强审核措施。

Although the officials would not discuss how many fraudulent schools might actually be operating, Mr. Fishman said they were “too prevalent.”

尽管官方不愿讨论实际在运行的诈骗学校可能有多少所,但菲什曼表示,这种学校“实在太普遍了”。

“The University of Northern New Jersey was another stop on the ‘pay to stay’ tour,” he added.

“北新泽西大学不过是‘花钱买留下’之旅中的又一站,”他还说。

The Facebook page of the University of Northern New Jersey last had a post on March 5, announcing the school would be closed until March 18 for spring break. Earlier posts included pictures of students — some wearing “Badgers” T-shirts — against the same plain gray wall with the school seal and the letters U.N.N.J. On the university’s website, a note from the supposed president, Steven Brunetti, offered platitudes about the education offered at the university.

在北新泽西大学的Facebook页面上,最后一次发声是在3月5日,上面宣布学校将停课放春假,直至3月18日。早前的发帖包括学生的照片,一些学生的T恤上印着“Badgers”(意为猎獾队——译注)的字样。学生背后都是相同的浅灰色墙壁,墙上印着学校的标志和UNNJ这几个字母。在该校的网站上,假校长史蒂文·布鲁内蒂(Steven Brunetti)的寄语用老生常谈的话介绍了学校提供的教育。

“As you explore U.N.N.J.,” the president’s note said, “I am confident that you will uncover all of the priceless opportunities an education from U.N.N.J. will provide you for your future.”

“探索北新泽西大学时,”校长寄语说,“我相信,你们会发现这里的教育为你们的将来提供各种各样的宝贵机会。”

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