Chinese Cheating for US Student Visas

Sheesh, more cheating….and just think of the growing number of Democrats calling for the ICE agency to be abolished. Remember too that California had that whole birthing tourism scandal for foreign Chinese illegals.

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5 arrested in scheme that hired people to take English proficiency exam on behalf of Chinese nationals seeking student visas

LOS ANGELES – Federal authorities this morning arrested five defendants linked to a scheme that helped Chinese nationals obtain student visas by hiring individuals who used fake Chinese passports to take an English proficiency test for the foreign students.

The arrests were made pursuant to a 26-count indictment returned on Friday by a federal grand jury. The indictment charges the defendants with conspiring to use false passports, using false passports, and aggravated identity theft as part of the scheme to impersonate Chinese nationals who were required to take the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) to obtain a student visa.

This case is being investigated by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI), the State Department’s Diplomatic Security Service, and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service’s Fraud Detection National Security Section. The Educational Testing Service, which administers the TOEFL exam, has provided assistance during the investigation.

“On top of allowing students to cheat their way into our top universities, schemes such as this exploit our nation’s legal immigration system and threaten our national security,” said Joseph Macias, Special Agent in Charge for HSI Los Angeles.  “As this case shows, we will move aggressively to identify and prosecute those who engage in fraud and corrupt the immigration process for profit.”

The five defendants were taken into custody this morning without incident. They are:

  • Liu Cai, 23, of Woodland Hills, who allegedly facilitated the scheme, took at least five TOEFL exams himself and is residing in the United States on a student visa;
  • Quang Cao, 24, of San Francisco, who allegedly took at least four TOEFL exams with false identification, and who was arrested today in Stockton, California;
  • Elric Zhang, 24, of Los Angeles, who allegedly took at least five TOEFL exams as part of the scheme;
  • Mohan Zhang, 24, of Cerritos, who allegedly took at least two TOEFL exams under the names of foreign nationals; and
  • Samantha Wang, 24, of Corona, who allegedly took at least two TOEFL exams.

The four Southern California defendants are expected to be arraigned on the indictment this afternoon in U.S. District Court in downtown Los Angeles. Cao is expected to make an initial appearance this afternoon in the Eastern District of California.

The sixth defendant in the case – Tuan Tran, 33, who allegedly took at least one TOEFL exam with a false identification document – is believed to be currently residing in Taiwan.

The United States requires foreign citizens who wish to enter the United States on a temporary basis to study at a college or university to first obtain an F-1 student visa. To obtain a student visa, foreign citizens must first apply to study at a school that has been authorized by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) to enroll foreign students. In the United States, many SEVP-certified schools require foreign citizens whose first language is not English to certify proficiency in English by achieving a particular score on the TOEFL.

When the foreign national goes to a TOEFL testing location, the test taker must present an original, non-expired, government-issued identification document recognized by their home country. According to the indictment, all six defendants used counterfeit People’s Republic of China passports to impersonate 19 different Chinese nationals at various TOEFL testing locations in and around Los Angeles.

The indictment further alleges that Cai paid for and registered 14 Chinese nationals for TOEFL exams over a one-year period in 2015 and 2016. Following the tests, Cai allegedly paid three co-defendants approximately $400 per test from his PayPal and Venmo accounts.

The conspiracy count in the indictment carries a statutory maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. The charge of using a false passport carries a maximum sentence of 10 years. Aggravated identity theft carries a mandatory consecutive two-year sentence.

This matter is being prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Kyle J. Ryan of the General Crimes section.

FBI: Operation Varsity Blues, College and Elite Scandal

We hate it when people cheat, but when the elite do it including lawyers, it is worse. It must be mentioned however, that in many cases the children/students did not know what their parents actually did.

Rick Singer, the founder of the consulting company that devised this scheme just plead guilty.

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At least 50 well known people have been charged in several states and dealing with several universities. It is the largest college admissions scam EVER. Celebrities, coaches, lawyers and wealthy power-brokers have been now a variety of Federal charges including fraud, cheating and bribery.

This scheme goes back to at least 2011 and the money involved could be higher than $25 million. Operation Varsity Blues, as an FBI investigation began however in May of 2018 when FBI stumbled across a lead on a completely unrelated and separate investigation.

The criminal complaint is here.

Schools implicated in this operation include Georgetown University, Stanford, UCLA, University of San Diego, University of Southern California, Yale, Wake Forest and University of Texas.

Here’s the full list:

Gregory Abbott

Marcia Abbott

Gamal Abdelaziz

Diane Blake

Todd Blake

Jane Buckingham

Gordon Caplan

Michael Center

I-Hsin “Joey” Chen

Amy Colburn

Gregory Colburn

Igor Dvorskiy

Gordon Ernst

William Ferguson

Robert Flaxman

Martin Fox

Mossimo Giannulli

Donna Heinel

Elizabeth Henriquez

Manuel Henriquez

Douglas Hodge

Felicity Huffman

Agustin Huneeus, Jr.

Bruce Isackson

Davina Isackson

Michelle Janavs

Laura Janke

Ali Khosroshahin

Elisabeth Kimmel

Marjorie Klapper

Lori Loughlin

Toby MacFarlane

Steven Masera

William McGlashan

Rudolph Meredith

Marci Palatella

Mark Riddell

Jorge Salcedo

Mikaela Sanford

Peter Jan Sartorio

Stephen Semprevivo

David Sidoo

William Rick Singer

Devin Sloane

John Vandemoer

Jovan Vavic

Niki Williams

John Wilson

Homayoun Zadeh

Robert Zangrillo

The indictment is here.


Lesley Stahl vs. Betsy DeVos on Education

US Parents Involved in Education, USPIE, explains more details about the Federal government in public education. Common Core is still alive in many states, while in others, it just has a different name. Furthermore, not only is the Federal government at the state level working on regulating homeschooling, there is the whole matter of zero privacy for students. This is a terrifying condition. photo

Wonder if Lesley Stahl reads The Hill and this significant report or if Betsy DeVos has read it.

Education Secretary Betsy DeVos’ recent interview with Lesley Stahl on “60 Minutes” caused quite a bit of backlash from critics.

DS: As my colleague Jonathan Butcher has written, “60 Minutes” ignored many of the facts about the state of education in America. Response to the interview drew quite a bit of criticism of DeVos and her policy solutions.

Perhaps one of the most pivotal moments came when she suggested that the United States’ heavy federal investment in education has not yielded any results. Stahl hit back, asserting that school performance has been on the rise.

But the latest government data show otherwise. According to the recently released 2017 National Assessment of Educational Progress, also known as the nation’s “report card,” we now have more evidence that DeVos was correct.

In fact, recent scores show virtually no improvement over 2015 scores. Eighth-grade reading saw a single point improvement over 2015 scores (10 points is considered equivalent to a grade level), while all other categories saw no improvement.

These lackluster results come on the heels of declines on the 2015 assessment, suggesting the beginning of a trend in the wrong direction for academic outcomes.

>>> Nation’s ‘Report Card’ Shows Federal Intervention Has Not Helped Students

Indeed, Stahl’s claim that the state of public schools has gotten better simply doesn’t hold up to the data. It fact, DeVos is entirely correct to point out that public school outcomes have not meaningfully improved, and that our nation’s heavy federal intervention in K-12 education has failed to help the problem.

As Heritage Foundation education fellow Lindsey Burke writes:

Forty-nine out of 50 states were stagnant on the 2017 report card, and achievement gaps persist. Historically, federal education spending has been appropriated to close gaps, yet this spending—more than $2 trillion in inflation-adjusted spending at the federal level alone since 1965—has utterly failed to achieve that goal.

Increasing federal intervention over the past half-century, and the resulting burden of complying with federal programs, rules, and regulations, have created a parasitic relationship with federal education programs and states, and is straining the time and resources of local schools.

Indeed, for decades, Washington has poured billions of dollars into the public education system under the assumption that more federal spending will close achievement caps and improve the academic outcomes of students. With mounting evidence that more federal spending is not the answer, it may be time to consider other policy approaches.

DeVos is correct to suggest school choice as a solution to lackluster school performance. Parents who cannot afford to send their child to a school that is the right fit deserve to have options. As DeVos told Stahl:

Any family that has the economic means and the power to make choices is doing so for their children. Families that don’t have the power, that can’t decide, ‘I’m gonna move from this apartment in downtown whatever to the suburb where I think the school is gonna be better for my child.’ If they don’t have that choice, and they are assigned to that school, they are stuck there. I am fighting for the parents who don’t have those choices. We need all parents to have those choices.

In light of recent evidence from the nation’s report card, “60 Minutes” and other school choice critics should consider that DeVos was correct in her framing of problems facing the nation’s schools and is on the right track with possible solutions—namely, that empowering parents is the right approach to improving American education.

Have you Met James Fraser? Students may Know him Soon

This fella took over where Howard Zinn left off…beware parents…

James W. Fraser, Professor of History and Education at the Steinhardt School of Culture, Education, and Human Development at New York University, holds a joint appointment in the departments of Humanities and Social Sciences and Teaching and Learning. Fraser’s teaching and research is motivated by his concern with the challenges facing future Social Studies and History teachers who must find ways of engaging sometimes bored students with American and world history. His most recent book, By the People: A History of the United States is designed to help make US History courses more lively, with a focus on the agency of everyday Americans of many different communities, times, and places. Fraser’s work also reflects his concern with complex debates about the place of religion in public schools, especially in the United States, but also internationally. He has written, taught, and consulted about the state of teacher education in the United States and elsewhere, and also written and spoken about the future of the History of Education as an academic field of study. Fraser is the president of the History of Education Society for 2013-2014. He has served on the Editorial Board of the History of Education Quarterly, and as the NYU liaison to New Design High School, a public high school in New York’s Lower East Side, and to Facing History and Ourselves. He is Director of Undergraduate Studies in the NYU Department of Teaching and Learning, and serves on the committees responsible for the NYU programs in London, England and Accra, Ghana.

From 2008 to 2012, Fraser was the Senior Vice President for Programs at the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation in Princeton, New Jersey, where he coordinated the different Fellowship programs and led the launch of the Foundation’s Fellowships for Teachers. Now back to full-time teaching at NYU, he remains a senior advisor to the Foundation. Fraser was the founding dean of Northeastern University’s School of Education, serving from 1999 to 2004. He was a member and chair of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts Education Deans Council, the Boston School Committee Nominating Committee, and other boards. He was also a lecturer in the Program in Religion and Secondary Education at the Harvard University Divinity School from 1997 to 2004. He has taught at Lesley University, the University of Massachusetts, Boston, Boston University, and Public School 76, Manhattan. He is an ordained minister in the United Church of Christ and was pastor of Grace Church in East Boston, Massachusetts, from 1986 to 2006 and is now a member of Judson Memorial Church in Greenwich Village, New York.

*** That church by the way is an activist ‘justice’ church. And that activism is pervasive in Mr. Fraser as he is pushing a new high school advanced class history textbook, full of indoctrination.

*** In part:

The final section of the book, titled “The Angry Election of 2016,” is highly critical of Trump.

“Most thought that Trump was too extreme a candidate to win the nomination, but his extremism, his anti-establishment rhetoric, and, some said, his not-very-hidden racism connected with a significant number of primary voters,” Fraser wrote.


A new AP history textbook that covers the 2016 election is coming under fire for being “blatantly biased” against Trump and his supporters.  (Courtesy of Terra Snyder)

Trump voters are described as “mostly older, often rural or suburban, and overwhelmingly white” while the book uses the viewpoint of Clinton voters to describe Trump’s supporters as fearful, backwards, sexist people who supported a mentally ill candidate.

“Clinton’s supporters feared that the election had been determined by people who were afraid of a rapidly developing ethnic diversity of the country, discomfort with their candidate’s gender, and nostalgia for an earlier time in the nation’s history,” the textbook says. “They also worried about the mental stability of the president-elect and the anger that he and his supporters brought to the nation.”

The book also bashes police for its handling of the Ferguson riots.

In a section titled “Black Lives Matter,” Fraser wrote that after the shooting of Michael Brown, Brown’s “parents were kept away at gunpoint.” He paints a negative view of police while glossing over violent tactics carried out by some rioters, critics say.

“The nearly all-white police force was seen as an occupying army in the mostly African American town…the police increased the tensions, defacing memorials set up for Brown and using rubber bullets on demonstrators,” he wrote.

According to his bio, Fraser wrote the book to “help make U.S. History courses more lively, with a focus on the agency of everyday Americans or many different communities, times, and places.” More of the story here.

Qatar Foundation Buying American Education/Teachers

Remember when the Obama regime traded out the top Taliban commanders from Gitmo to Qatar for Bowe Bergdahl? Remember when the Obama regime was working to normalize relations with the Taliban by funding an embassy for them in Qatar?

In 2017, Defense Secretary Jim Mattis placed the blame for the current mess in Afghanistan squarely on the Obama administration, telling Congress Wednesday that by cutting support for the Afghan forces prematurely, President Obama allowed the Taliban to regroup and recover.

“I believe that we pulled out forces at a time, as you know, when the violence was lower, but we pulled them out on a timeline rather than consistent with the maturation of the government and the security forces,” Mattis told a Senate subcommittee Wednesday.

“The result was that as security declined, all the other stresses have come to bear, to include heavy casualties on the part of the Afghan forces, other nations pulled their forces out as well, and the Taliban was emboldened.”

Or remember when Eric Holder traveled to Qatar in 2009 to deliver a speech on financial corruption? Did he know that the Qatari Fund was buying American teachers and spreading hate against Israel and promoting Islam in the American education system? uh huh….

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The emirate’s educational foundation spreads anti-Israel and anti-American propaganda in U.S. schools.

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NR: On January 27, Qatar Foundation International (QFI) sponsored a continuing-education event titled “Middle East 101” for public-school teachers in Phoenix, Ariz. It was hosted by the Arizona Department of Education — which is not surprising, given that QFI has donated over $450,000 to Arizona public schools (and over $30 million to public schools across the country). Unfortunately, while there was a good deal of interesting material, teachers also got a large helping of Islamist propaganda, designed to influence American schoolchildren and ultimately to advance Qatari foreign policy.

QFI program officer Craig Cangemi introduced QFI as an American member organization of the Qatar Foundation (QF), which he blandly described as “a private, education-focused foundation in Doha, Qatar.” In fact, QF is a massive apparatus directly managed by Qatar’s ruling Al-Thani family, which conducts a tremendous range of state-development activities ranging from technology research to higher education. This includes “Education City,” a district in Doha that hosts Qatari branches of American universities, including Texas A&M, Northwestern, Georgetown, and others, which QF funds to the tune of more than $400 million annually. Georgetown alone received nearly $300 million in grants from QF between 2011 and 2016.

However, while the American universities are able to preserve some freedom of thought, other QF-backed schools in Doha enforce a rigid ideological program. QF schools and mosques often host the most virulently radical Islamist preachers, including one who referred to the 9/11 attacks as a “comedy film,” another who said that Jews bake Passover matzoh with human blood (“believing that this brings them close to their false god”), and a third who accused the Shia of “poisoning” and “sorcery.”

A featured lecturer of the QF-backed Qatar Faculty of Islamic Studies was Mohamed El-Moctar El-Shinqiti, currently a professor at the QF’s flagship Hamad bin Khalifa University. El-Shinqiti was once an imam at a West Texas mosque, where he openly encouraged young people to engage in terror attacks against Israel and Egypt. The dean of the QF’s College of Islamic Studies (CIS) is Emad al-Din Shahin, a member of the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood whose prominence led Egypt’s military regime to sentence him to death in absentia. Other CIS faculty are connected to the International Institute for Islamic Thought (IIIT), the Muslim Brotherhood’s American think tank that is the nexus of a terror-finance network named the SAAR Network. These CIS faculty include Louay Safi, former IIIT executive director and research director, and Jasser Auda, also an IIIT lecturer. Other faculty seem closely aligned with the IIIT’s long-term goal of the “Islamization of knowledge,” including one professor working under Auda who has written about “Revelation as a source of engineering sciences.”

An American educator who worked at a QF educational institution in Doha told the Middle East Forum that faculty were not allowed to purchase maps showing the state of Israel, the entire territory of which was instead labeled “Palestine.” Even tangentially mentioning the existence of Israel or the Holocaust in class would provoke severe reprisals from the Qatari Ministry of Education. The official government policy was “Israel doesn’t exist.”

QF is a committed supporter of Islamist extremism, particularly at its Al-Qaradawi Center for Islamic Moderation and Renewal — named in honor of Sheikh Yousef Al-Qaradawi, spiritual leader of the Muslim Brotherhood, who chaired the committee that established the Center’s faculty. (Al-Qaradawi has repeatedly endorsed suicide bombings, terrorist attacks against the United States, and the total extermination of the Jews. He is barred from entering the U.S. because of terrorism concerns.) And in 2012, QF hosted Hamas leader Ismail Haniyeh (who was just designated as a terrorist by the federal government) and gave him a “victory shield” featuring the Dome of the Rock.

Meanwhile, during the “Middle East 101” event, Cangemi insisted that QFI (the American branch of QF) sets its own policies, saying, “We are an autonomous organization. . . . We do not have any ties with Qatar: the government, the state, or really [the] Qatar Foundation.” This is patently false. The CEO and nominal founder of QFI is Sheikha Hind bint Hamad Al-Thani, the daughter of Qatar’s former emir. The chairman of the board of QFI is Sheikh Jassim bin Abdulaziz Al-Thani, another member of the royal family. As of 2012 (the most recent year for which public records are available), the treasurer of QFI was Khalid Al Kuwari, a senior Qatari government official and a scion of the powerful Al-Kuwari clan. QFI is in fact a key instrument of Qatari state policy.

Evidence of this is found in the teaching materials that Cangemi recommended to his schoolteacher audience. Al Masdar, for instance, is QFI’s flagship curriculum project. It offers lesson plans and resources about countries all over the Middle East. Unsurprisingly, the most flattering collection is about Qatar. One resource offered is even titled: “Express Your Loyalty to Qatar.” No lesson plan appears particularly critical of Qatar, whereas other countries discussed in Al Masdar’s resources are subject to much more varied discussion.

Other lesson plans contain anti-Semitic and anti-American material, particularly several lessons produced by the Zinn Education Project, which claims to promote a revisionist “people’s history.” These include “Greed as a Weapon: Teaching the Other Iraq War,” which examines the “greed” of the corporations ostensibly responsible for the Iraq war in order to “feast on Iraq’s economy,” and “Whose ‘Terrorism’?”, which questions the definition of terrorism, creating scenarios for students to discuss — for example, if “Israeli soldiers taunting and shooting children in Palestinian refugee camps, with the assistance of U.S. military aid” should be considered an example of terrorism.

The main speaker at the “Middle East 101” event was Barbara Petzen, a senior staff member at the Center for Strategic and International Studies who once worked for the Saudi-funded Middle East Policy Council (MEPC). Petzen has been longaccused of anti-Israel bias in educational fora. During her presentation, she repeatedly argued that religion or ideology had no relationship with Islamic terrorism, which she claimed was more immediately rooted in Muslim political grievances against the West for its support of Israel and the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. (Petzen hit similar themes in a 2015 presentation for QFI.)

Petzen particularly whitewashed the role of Islamism, a religious-political ideology with roots in 20th-century totalitarianism that demands political supremacy as a religious value, and thus leads inevitably to political violence. She argued that Islamism, as represented by Saudi Arabia and the Egyptian Muslim Brotherhood, is focused on governing society (albeit in a religiously severe fashion), and is therefore opposed to extremism, since “extremism, by definition, turns things over — is destabilizing. . . . If you’re in power, you don’t want extremism because it destabilizes your control.” (By this faulty definition, no ruling ideology can be “extremist.” Indeed, ISIS would not be considered “extremist” once it set up its government.)

Similarly, when commenting on the June 2017 decision by Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and seven other Muslim countries to sever ties with Qatar, Petzen downplayed the importance of the Qatari regime’s deep, systematic support for Islamism and terrorism. Instead, she claimed the diplomatic crisis was motivated mainly by Qatar’s close economic relations with Iran, a geostrategic competitor of Saudi Arabia. This ignores the fact that Qatar’s neighbors fear destabilization by the Muslim Brotherhood and its supporters and have abruptly reversed their own prior support of the Brotherhood in response.

Petzen’s claim echoes the line taken by QFI itself. In July 2017, QFI and Al Jazeera jointly produced a propaganda video condemning the so-called blockade of Qatar. In November, QFI organized a panel discussion claiming that the Gulf states’ isolation of Qatar was due to “fake news,” a claim that QFI’s executive director, Maggie Salem, explicitly endorsed on Twitter. For QFI to belittle the very real alarm that other Muslim states feel about Qatar’s support for extremism is telling, and it calls into question QFI’s claims of independence from the Qatari state.

Qatar Foundation International presents itself as a beneficent charity, merely working to spread knowledge of different cultures. In fact, it is an agent of Qatari foreign policy, with the aim of influencing American schoolchildren to support the Qatari agenda. No matter how attractive Qatari money may be, American educators must reject QFI.