Feds used fake metro university to identify fake foreign students

Indian students arrested in US

Indian students arrested in US

The foreign ministry in a statement said India continued to closely monitor the situation arising out of the detention of Indian students in connection with their enrollment in a "fraudulent university in the US".

In the demarche, India called for the "need for immediate consular access for Indian officials to the detainees" and underlined that the students, "who may have been duped into enrolling in the "University" should be treated differently from those recruiters who have duped them".

Several foreigners, including from India, face deportation from the U.S. after authorities busted a "pay to stay" visa racket by arresting eight persons on charges of fraudulently facilitating hundreds of immigrants to illegally remain in the country.

According to the to the indictments, from February 2017 to January 2019, a group of foreign citizens, conspired with each other and others to fraudulently facilitate hundreds of foreign nationals in illegally remaining and working in the United States by actively recruiting them to enroll into a metro Detroit private university Framington University.

The students had enrolled themselves with a fake university established by the Homeland Security department as part of a covert operation to identify immigration violators.

India had yesterday issued demarche to the US Embassy in Delhi over the detention. According to a USA daily, 8 Indian student recruiters have also been arrested for helping foreign students, mainly Indians, to stay in the U.S. without proper authorisation.

Simultaneously, the ICE also has started detaining foreign students of this fake university and started the process of their deportation.

The school targeted legal immigrants who wanted to stay in the country past their visa or those who wanted to re-enter the country so they could work.

The Indian embassy has also set up a 24/7 hotline for assisting the students and their families.

Canada cuts diplomatic staffing in Cuba
Canadian authorities say they are getting good co-operation from the Cuban government, which is also frustrated by the incidents. The majority of the cases took place in 2017, and more than a year passed before the 13th case was reported in November.

But court papers released last week showed that the employees of the University of Farmington were undercover agents for the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE). "Of the 130, 129 were Indian nationals", Khaalid H Walls, an ICE spokesperson, told PTI.

Numerous students enrolled in the university were students who had transferred from other universities, according to media reports. "Efforts to contact the remaining Indian students are continuing".

The indictment accuses the students of enrolling only to stay in the country, not to get an education.

"There are specific universities who have advanced degree programmes that primarily involved practical training from day one that allows them to enroll and the bulk of the time is spent working", Sofo said.

Minister of External Affairs Sushma Swaraj has said that she will give "highest priority" to this issue.

The website of the fake university has been closed by government officials.

Consular Officers from Indian Consulate in Houston met the arrested Indian students at Prairieland Detention Centre, Alvarado, Texas.

The federal prosecutor in Detroit, Matthew Schneider, said in a statement: "We are all aware that worldwide students can be a valuable asset to our country, but as this case shows, the well-intended global student visa program can also be exploited and abused".

It goes on to allege that each student knew the university's programmes were not approved by Homeland Security and that it was illegal.

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