CIS: Conviction of Chinese student highlights weak visa program

CIS: Conviction of Chinese student highlights weak visa program

CIS: Conviction of Chinese student highlights weak visa program

After a Chinese national was convicted of threatening a fellow Chinese student who posted flyers supporting democracy in their native country, an immigration watchdog says the incident has exposed the student visa program.

Xiaolei Wu, 26, was convicted earlier this month in a federal jury trial after he was indicted on charges of cyberstalking and stalking at the Berklee College of Music, The Daily Caller, citing a Department of Justice press release, reported.

Berklee is a small private college in Boston, where Wu was accused of using email, Instagram and WeChat in 2022 to threaten his unnamed victim for a flyer that reads “We want freedom” and “We want democracy.”

“Post more, I will chop your [profanity] hands off,” Wu wrote in one of the messages.

Although the victim is not named, that person is also Chinese with ties to the country because Wu threatened to report the flyers to security agents in China. Those agents would “greet” that person’s relatives in China over the incident, Wu wrote, insinuating the relatives would be arrested – or worse – by state police for the Berklee flyers.

At some point Wu did relay the victim’s personal information to a Chinese government official, the DOJ said.

John Feere, director of investigations at the Center for Immigration Studies, tells AFN the U.S. foreign student visa program remains a big threat to our country. The program’s regulations and oversight are “quite minimal,” he warns, and students from China, Iran, and Russia – all foreign adversaries – are being allowed to enter under those weak guidelines.

"Because it's growing very rapidly,” he says, “we have hundreds of thousands of foreign students who are here."

The international program, which is overseen by the U.S. State Department, hands out an F-1 Visa to a foreign student pursuing higher education in the U.S. Students who attend a vocational school must obtain an M-1 Visa to legally enter and attend school.

Citing a Department of Homeland report, the Center for Immigration Studies reported in June more than 850,000 foreign nationals overstayed their visas during the 2022 fiscal year.

Among foreign students, the largest number of overstays were Chinese nationals who numbered about 9,000, the CIS report said.