U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents recently arrested 27 individuals in the Dallas area on charges of violating the terms of their visas.
The 11-day operation rounded up immigrants from a variety of countries, including Nepal, Pakistan, Mexico and India, who allegedly overstayed visitor and student visas.
ICE indicated one of the arrestees had registered for flight school but never showed up, the Dallas Observer reports. An ICE special agent, Alysa Erichs, said the tough crackdown on student visa violations is a legacy of 9-11, because some of the terrorists involved in the 9-11 attacks trained at civilian flight schools in the United States.
While screening of flight school students has become more rigorous since 9-11, there are still some loopholes in the system, Bloomberg News recently reported. For example, some schools are not inspected by the Transportation Security Administration every year. This has led instructors and administrators to voluntarily implement tougher admission procedures.
Two of the arrested individuals also face charges of falsely claiming American citizenship, according to the Immigration Prof Blog. If convicted of this felony, these immigrants would likely be deported and prohibited from ever re-entering the country.
These arrests come shortly after the Obama Administration announced a new immigration enforcement policy, designed to target dangerous criminals who are in the country illegally. Deportation proceedings against many other undocumented residents have already been suspended.