Federal authorities in January 2019 announced that the Michigan-based University of Farmington was created by the DHS to catch people making money by helping foreigners live in the US on student visas while enrolled at bogus schools.
“About 100 of the students arrested on immigration charges remain in jail”
The majority of the 600 students enrolled in the fake school were from Telugu-speaking regions of India, and many of the students have been since removed from the country or are currently in the process of removal.
According to reports, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement have arrested around 160 international students on civil immigration violations.
“Several have since been removed and others are currently in various stages of the removal process, “ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls told the Detroit Free Press.
More could be arrested or removed in the future as “enforcement action against current and former students of the University of Farmington remains ongoing,” Walls added.
According to one advocacy group, the American Telugu Association, the students are being housed at 34 detention centres across the US, while “about 100 of the students arrested on immigration charges remain in jail”.
ATA president Parmesh Bheemreddy told local press that the scale of arrests of Indian students has not been seen before.
“Many of the students come from poor backgrounds in India and took out loans to study here to study and pursue the American dream,” Bheemreddy said.
The hundreds of students who haven’t been arrested are reportedly worried about their futures and many have chosen to leave the country voluntarily.
The Indian government has said it is trying to help the detained students.
“These are innocent girls and boys,” Bheemreddy added. “They’re not criminals…it is a life-changing event for them.”
A similar scenario played out in 2016 in New Jersey, where DHS set up a fake university to catch criminals involved in student visa fraud.