Do Visiting Researchers Travel to the U.S. with Alternative Motives?

Clinical Trials

The U.S. Department of Justice is charging researchers, including one associated with the University of California, Davis, and one with University of California, San Francisco, with visa fraud as they are purported to have lied about ties to the People’s Republic of China’s military. These are serious charges, in violation of 18 U.S.C § 1546(a), and they carry penalties of up to 10 years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Targets have included California universities; for example, the U.S. Marshal Service arrested 37-year-old Juan Tang, who worked at UC Davis. Tang was supposedly seeking refuge at the Chinese consulate in San Francisco and now is in Sacramento County Jail. Also, a complaint against Xin Wang was unsealed June 8, 2020. This individual entered the U.S. on March 26, 2019 based on a J1 non-immigrant visa, with the stated purpose of conducting scientific research at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF). Apparently, he described one reality as he entered the country, but upon an interview with the U.S. Customers and Border Protection (CBP) at LAX, he acknowledged he was still employed in a military lab. The purported goal: study the layout of a specific UCSF ...

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