At least eight people have been arrested across cities in the U.S. in connection with visa fraud charges according to the US District Court of the Eastern District of Michigan, Southern Division, a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney for the District, Matthew Schneider, said. Six arrests were made in Detroit, one in Florida and one in Virginia.
In late-night and pre-dawn raids, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agents arrested eight foreigners — all of whom are either Indian nationals or Indian Americans — for aiding foreign nationals to remain in the United States illegally by actively recruiting them to enrol into a fake university in Farmington Hills in Metro Detroit.
In addition to the eight, an unspecified number of Indian students have been detained by the Department of Homeland Security in connection with the above case.
“Vast majority” of those arrested and detained are Indian nationals, an ICE official told PTI.
“Special agents from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations arrested eight on criminal charges as part of an investigation into potential abuses of the US student visa system,” the official said.
Without the knowledge of the conspirators, the university was operated by special agents of the Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) as part of an undercover operation, from a small building in Detroit area. Information made available on the website of this university in particular those related to admissions leaves a lot of questions.
“We are all aware that international students can be a valuable asset to our country, but as this case shows, the well-intended international student visa programme can also be exploited and abused, stated US Attorney Matthew Schneider.
The University of Farmington has a website with details of its history, admissions and fees – which appear noticeably low. Graduate tuition per quarter is an estimated $2,500 or $10,000 per year compared to some $36,000 per year tuition at Michigan State for those who cannot claim state resident fees.