ICE Busts Hundreds of Student Visa Fraudsters in University Sting
Immigration and Customs Enforcement has arrested more than 250 people who enrolled at a fake university hoping to cheat the United States’ student visa laws.
ICE set up the program to lure in individuals who have sought to take up residency in the country through student visas, without actually studying at a real university and paying tuition.
Most of the people who were busted trying to game student visa rules in order to obtain legal residency have been described as Indian nationals.
The fake students signed up with “University of Farmington,” a sham Detroit university that advertised itself as a pathway for the foreign nationals to obtain legal residency in the US without actually being a real college students. In reality, the University of Farmington was a creation of ICE from its inception.
The arrests have been taking place since January. Farmington never offered any college classes in a physical location, not qualifying as a accredited university to those who claimed student status in order to keep a visa.
Detroit’s ICE office has confirmed that 80% of the fake students busted in the sting have been deported or voluntarily left the country. Another 10% have been ordered by immigration judges to depart. The remaining 10% are currently fighting ongoing cases in the immigration court system.
Several “recruiters” for the fake school are facing criminal charges for finding people willing to sign up to commit immigration fraud, offering them a chance to get a student visa without being a student.
Unfortunately, ICE’s success in nabbing hundreds of fake students through the sting reveals the rampant fraud and abuse prevalent within the student visa system. Conservatives have become increasingly skeptical of programs that allow generous access to foreign university students, and an epidemic of fraud from those seeking to bypass immigration law doesn’t speak favorably towards the utility of the foreign student visa program.