Personally, I changed majors four times.
But, I imagine you're one the many hypercritical perfect persons here.
Were you here in America on a student visa?
Did you bail out of your classes so you could go work in a kebab shop?
IMO, if you are given a student visa, you are supposed to be in school. If not, see ya!!!!!!!!!
ABC News 20/20
Nov. 14 When Bangladeshi student Omar flunked out of the U.S. college he was attending, his student visa became invalid. He was supposed to leave the United States and go back home, but no one forced him out, so he stayed.
"I didn't get contact from anyone, not from the school, not from the government agency, when my paper got expired," said Omar, who asked that his last name not be used.
Omar wasn't exactly on the run, nor was he doing anything to elude the government.
"I was just there with an expired paper," he said. "If someone wanted to find me, yes, it would be very easy. I was in the same place."
Omar, as far as we know, is not a terrorist. Nor are most of the half-million other foreign students in the United States. But at least two of the 19 hijackers who carried out the Sept. 11 attacks were in the United States on student visas. One of the hijackers' visas had expired, which raises questions about problems in the country's student visa program.
'A Threat to National Security'
Less than two weeks ago, a man carrying seven knives and a stun gun slipped through a checkpoint at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport. He was stopped in a random search just before he boarded the plane, when authorities discovered that he, too, was in the United States on a student visa that had expired nearly two years ago.
The Immigration and Naturalization Service does not know precisely how many foreign students are in the United States with expired visas. The INS has no idea whose visas have expired or even whether students are registered at the schools that sponsored them.
"We can't manage that information," said Jackie Bednarz, an executive at the INS policy office, when she was shown a stack of entry forms and untracked people obtained by ABCNEWS' 20/20. "You just entered our paper world That's not workable."
Bednarz added: "There is no way in this country for us to check up on every person who may overstay or violate a visa or who has come in without a visa. That's the reality."
Eyad Ismoil, the 21-year-old Jordanian who drove a truckload of explosives into the World Trade Center in 1993, had dropped out of Wichita State University in Kansas but stayed on in the United States, undetected, for three more years despite his expired student visa.
"We have known since 1993, at least 1993, that the foreign student visa program was a threat to national security," said Dan Stein, who runs the Federation for American Immigration Reform.
"We had studies, we had reports, we had intelligence agencies telling us over and over again that the foreign student visa program was a threat to national security because it was so loosely administered and nobody knew what was going on," he said.
Keeping Tabs On Foreign Students
In 1996, Congress ordered the INS to come up with a way of keeping tabs on foreign students. Several possibilities were discussed, including biometric identifiers and fingerprints being included on a high-tech visa, or identification cards that students would carry.
But the plan was never implemented.
It was opposed by the National Association for Foreign Students and Advisors, a lobbying group for American colleges and universities for whom foreign students bring in $10 billion to $15 billion in business each year.
"What we opposed was the notion that foreign students should be singled out," said Marlene Johnson, the group's executive director. She pointed out that foreign students are a small percentage of nonimmigrant temporary visa holders, so it was not "a helpful way to focus the issue of national security."
Though she said "there's no question that we have to keep track of people who are up to bad things," Johnson and the NAFSA also opposed a fee that the students would be required to pay to finance the tracking system.
Sources told 20/20 that NAFSA's lobbying efforts effectively gutted the plan, getting rid of provisions to monitor foreign travel, financial background or course loads. Gone, too, was the ID card, which NAFSA and other lobbyists had opposed.
"Immigration service relies on identity cards in other ways," said the INS' Bednarz. "There's nothing inherently wrong with cards. We've just not made a corporate decision that there needs to be a separate student card We believe we can achieve these goals, the mandate of collecting information in a manageable way, without using a card."
Some Students React
A sampling of foreign students had no objection to the original strong regulations, but one Pakistani student at Smith College in Massachusetts, Sharmeen Obaid, was adamant that asking foreign students to carry a card was not a good solution.
"Are you going to have tourists carry things on them?" she asked.
"I'm giving this country as much as the country's giving me," she added. "It's a two-way road. We're learning things. You're learning things from us."
A pilot tracking system is in operation at 20 different schools, but congressional investigators called it a "dumbed-down" version of the original. Anything tougher, say the lobbyists, might keep foreigners away.
"We do not want to send a message to international students or prospective students that we are no longer welcoming you to the country," said Johnson. "We don't want to do that. It is not in the best interests of the United States."
If the tougher system were in place, students like Omar or one of the hijackers on Sept. 11 would not be able to stay in the United States.
As soon as Omar "failed to show up for his course of study, the INS would have come and got him," said Stein. "He wouldn't have had the document. He wouldn't have been able to stay in the country. He would have been deported."