90 foreign students have been arrested by federal law enforcement agencies after it emerged that they had been enrolled in a fake university established by the US government.
A media report stated that most of the students were mostly from India. The arrest was made to check immigration fraud.
More than 250 students have so far been arrested by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). It’s been determined that the students were lured to enroll in the now-closed University of Farmington in the Detroit metropolitan area by the Department of Homeland Security.
According to the report, the ICE had in March this year arrested a number of 161 students from the fake university established by it. When the institution was closed in March, they had by then enrolled 600 students who were mostly Indians.
In recent months, additional 90 students were arrested, this was first reported by the Detroit Free Press on Tuesday 25th resulting in outrage with the hashtag #AbolishICE gaining ground on Twitter and other social media platforms.
According to an ICE spokesperson of the 250 students arrested so far, “nearly 80 percent were granted voluntary departure and departed the United States.”
Of the remaining 20 percent, about half of them have received a final order of removal, the official was quoted as saying
Federal prosecutors claim that the students knew that this was a fake university as there were no classes.
Senator Elizabeth Warren, a leading Democratic presidential candidate, described the move as “cruel”.
“This is cruel and appalling,” she said in a tweet. “These students simply dreamed of getting high-quality higher education America can offer. ICE deceived and entrapped them, just to deport them,” Warren said.
ICE had filed a criminal charge sheet against eight recruiters. Seven of them have pleaded guilty. These eight recruiters have been indicted for conspiracy to commit visa fraud and harboring aliens for profit by the US Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan.
Students enrolled in the university, a significant number of whom were from India, came to the US legally on a valid visa issued by the US embassy in India.
The US “trapped the vulnerable people who just wanted to maintain (legal immigration) status,” Rahul Reddy, a Texas attorney who represented or advised some of the students told Detroit Free Journal. “They prayed upon them,” he alleged.
The fake university charged around USD 2,500 per quarter for a graduate program and the average cost is USD 1,000, the daily reported.