USA fake university racket: Tracking devices fitted on Indian youths

Over 100 students arrested in US immigration fraud attorneys cry foul

‘Pay-and-stay’ US visa scam: Indian embassy opens 24x7 helpline for 129 arrested students, appoints nodal...

"Our concern over the dignity and well-being of the detained students and the need for immediate consular access for Indian officials to the detainees was reiterated", the Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) said Saturday.

According to the Detroit Free Press, on Wednesday, ICE arrested 130 foreign students across the country who were enrolled in the fake school.

One-hundred-thirty foreign students arrested by United States authorities for enrolling at a fake university allegedly to remain in that country are largely Indians.

The ICE said foreign students are granted what are called "F" and "M" visas to study in the USA and must maintain their legal status by enrolling in a varsity certified by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program.

"Homeland Security Investigations special agents uncovered a nationwide network that grossly exploited United States immigration laws". The Association said on its Facebook page that it was trying to help affected students and is meeting Indian consular officials in the U.S. about the case.

The US embassy in Delhi confirmed it had received the demarche but made no further statement. "These individuals have been placed in removal proceedings, and ICE will seek to maintain them in its custody pending the outcome of those proceedings", an ICE spokesperson said.

The University of Farmington describes itself on its website as a real university, but was fake, according to indictments unsealed on January 30, 2019.

It said that for those seeking legal help, guidance and assistance is being provided by the Indian mission and consulates and assistance from the Indian community has also been mobilised to provide legal support to those who seek.

The ministry said a 24/7 helpline has been established in the Indian Embassy in Washington for assistance/queries related to the detention of Indian students.

The arrested students have been marked for deportation and will remain in ICE's custody until immigration courts decide their cases, USA officials said. Of the 130, 129 were Indian nationals.

The indictment accuses the students of enrolling only to stay in the country, not to get an education. Prior to this, this student from Telangana was detained for over 14 hours.

"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.

"These suspects aided hundreds of foreign nationals to remain in the United States illegally by helping to portray them as students, which they most certainly were not", Special Agent in charge Steve Francis said this week.

Consular Officers from Indian Consulate in Houston met the arrested Indian students at Prairieland Detention Centre, Alvarado, Texas. This was done following an investigation by Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).

Sources said the case has an uncanny link to the 2013 diplomatic row between India and the U.S. when Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade was arrested over charges of visa fraud and perjury leading to her detention.

Obama administration officials had also set up the other fake institution, the University of North Jersey, and ensnared over 1,000 students, majority from India and China, in 2016.

Latest News