During the Obama years, the federal government virtually declared war on so-called “visa mills,” usually aiming its fire at for-profit universities. Evidently, they missed at least one non-profit that fits that description.
“The State of California licenses it as a university, the IRS regards it as a 501(c)(3) charity, and the U.S. Department of Homeland Security permits it to enroll nearly 4,000 foreign students,” David North writes on the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS) blog. “Its total revenues, including gifts, investment income, and tuition, came to more than $33.7 million in 2016. Sounds pretty substantial, right?”
“But if you look a little more closely at the books of Silicon Valley University (SVU) in San Jose, Calif., you will find that, while it paid its faculty no more than $2.1 million in 2016, it “lent” its president nearly $12.5 million in that year.” North claims that the “loan,” which he learned about from the group’s 990 form that it has to file with the IRS, was not approved by the SVU board or in writing and that “SVU made a prior, $1 million-plus, loan to the spouse of the president.”
“Meanwhile, SVU, and hidden federal subsidies available only to employers of current and recent foreign students, took nearly 4,000 jobs from resident workers,” North asserts. “SVU is one of hundreds of universities participating in something called Optional Practical Training (OPT), a DHS program that gives the employers of foreign graduates an 8.25 percent tax break for hiring them rather than citizen or green card students.”
“In places like SVU, virtually all students are foreign, and virtually all of them make use of this little known subsidy for aliens, described more fully later.”