South Korean students heading for a short-term immersion program on artificial intelligence in Irvine, California were allegedly detained and forced back to their home country after landing at LAX, according to the organizers of the experience.
Designed to expose learners to a different perspective, the program
, now in its fourth year, expected a total of 59 students, educational nonprofit PeopleSpace
Unfortunately, 18 students who landed at LAX on Dec. 30 were allegedly detained for 12 hours and subsequently returned to South Korea.
Then, a female student who made it to the program went back to Korea for a job interview and returned to the U.S. on Jan. 19. She was allegedly detained for 24 hours “with no rights or due process” before being sent back to Korea.
All the students who were forced to return to Korea had to sign a document “stating they understand that they will have a five-year ban back to the U.S.A.,” according to a statement from PeopleSpace. Those who refused to sign would then be tagged “uncooperative.”
“During their detainment, they search and review all the devices and their contents. PeopleSpace never received a call while they are in detainment,” the nonprofit claimed.
PeopleSpace sought counsel from an immigration lawyer and learned that the students may have been evicted through expedited removal
, a process in which certain aliens are denied entry to the U.S. without normal removal proceedings.
“It appears that some of your students were removed under Expedited Removal Procedure instead of being offered a Withdrawal of Admission. If so, those students are subject to a five-year bar, which means they are not allowed to enter the U.S. for the next five years,” the unidentified lawyer allegedly said. “A very serious immigration consequence for students who wish to come to [the] U.S. for a visit in the next five years.”
PeopleSpace also claimed that Border Protection cannot disclose information regarding the female student who had been detained for 24 hours.
Feature Images via PeopleSpace