Illegal immigration in the country has reached to a level wherein foreign nationals are willing to do anything to enter the US border. The condition is so bad that immigrants are readily committing immigration frauds.
To differentiate and bring forward those violating the laws, the federal authorities carried out an immigration sting operation. With the help of the operation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on Wednesday, succeeded in arresting 90 more students who had enrolled in a fake university set up.
The University of Farmington, was a fake Detroit-area college, which the ICE created in 2015 in Michigan to catch foreign students circumventing US immigration laws. The sting operation, which was code-named “Paper Chase”, was overseen by the Department of Homeland Security.
Moreover, the federal authorities created a website with a .edu address and social-media pages advertising the university as an accredited institution charging $8,500 per year in tuition, but it had no physical classrooms or campus and was not accredited.
The government paid millions to carry out the immigration fraud sting operation, and the defendants fell for the bait.
Up till now, the Department of Homeland Security apprehended roughly 250 foreign nationals, many of whom were arrested in January on charges of committing immigration fraud. The move was criticized as the analysts stated that many of the students had lost their visas and were unnecessarily arrested on charges of immigration and visa fraud.
Against the claims, the ICE stated that out of the 250 students, “nearly 80% were granted voluntary departure and departed the United States,” while the other 20% had received official deportation orders but they are fighting in court to stay in the US.
The recruiters of the fake university were pleaded guilty to the charges that they facilitated a conspiracy to commit visa and immigration fraud by helping nearly 600 students obtain falsified transcripts and records from the university to secure student visas.
Six of the people were accused of carrying out “pay to stay” scheme in the university.
As the government was widely involved in the operation, many have called it an unfair scheme that trapped the foreign nationals. Meanwhile, the authorities have insisted that the foreign students knew the school was fake as the university had no teachers, classes, or educational services and yet students enrolled in it.
Given the circumstances, it’s very clear that the students had no intention of studying. The government’s motive of luring those committing immigration fraud and simultaneously deporting them to their respective states is very clear, but what about the students?
Had it been about education, the students would have complained, but this raises another question, as to what was the ultimate motive of the foreign nationals behind enrolling in the fake university?