CBP Still Arresting Immigrants Trying To Stay In The Country By Furthering Their Education

from the bad-hombre,-ph.d. dept

Looks like ICE isn’t finished protecting the nation from dangerous immigrants seeking to… attend local universities. A massive sting operation involving a fake college, fake accreditation, and hundreds of immigrants who paid for classes but received nothing more than an arrest in exchange for their cash is apparently still ongoing.

Federal immigration officials have arrested more students who were enrolled at a fake university in metro Detroit.

And many of the students who enrolled at the university created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) are now in the process of being removed from the U.S. as Indian-American advocates grapple with what they say is an unprecedented number of arrests of Indian students.

The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested 161 foreign students from the University of Farmington on civil immigration violations, ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls said this week.

To be clear, most of the students detained or arrested were doing exactly what the law allows them to do: stay in US while continuing their education. A (manufactured) shortage of H1-B visas made this the only legal option for many of these students. According to the lawyers representing the students, a majority of those arrested were enrolled in master’s degree programs at the fake school. They had paid tuition and were fully expecting to be able to attend school while waiting for H1-B slots to open up.

It was ICE that arbitrarily decided attempting to follow the law was the equivalent of illegally overstaying their visas. The students thought they were dealing with a legit operation, which is exactly what ICE wanted them to think. It even secured accreditation for its fake school to better sell the false promise of students being able to do exactly what immigration law allowed them to do.

And for that, they’re being arrested and deported. While ICE may have rounded up a few scammers selling students access to something they already rightfully had access to, the biggest scam was run by the government. The government created a fake school, took students’ real money, and arrested them for trying to extend their stays legally.

Hopefully, this will see ICE hit with a number of lawsuits. It’s difficult to imagine a court being OK with the details of this sting operation — one that targeted immigrants and visitors trying to extend their stays lawfully. This is the kind of thing that “shocks the conscience,” a legal term of art that leaves participating personnel and agencies with almost no legal defense for their actions and courts ready to step in and right the wrongs.

Filed Under: , , , ,
Companies: university of farmington

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “CBP Still Arresting Immigrants Trying To Stay In The Country By Furthering Their Education”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
20 Comments
Gary (profile) says:

Re: accreditation

In the previous article Tim said:

At the request of DHS, a national accreditation agency listed the University of Farmington as being accredited in order to help deceive prospective students.

So they were really listed as an accredited school. Does being listed make them accredited or not? Either way, they were a fake school.
But prospective students would have every reason to believe the listing was genuine.

Coyne Tibbets (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: accreditation

I have no idea. Grand theft by deception. Fraudulent misrepresentation. Falsification of accreditation. Trademark infringement. (Yes, I said trademark infringement, with the University of Farmington in Maine.) Causing crimes to be committed by people who were law-abiding, depriving them of a legal benefit. A bonus for just being plain old a$$holes.

It should be good for around $250,000 per student. ICE can pay for this instead of the wall.

Cdaragorn (profile) says:

Re: accreditation

It was accredited, but the accreditation was fake because the school didn’t actually pass any of the requirements needed to obtain it. The accreditation board just handed it out because the government said to. Even though it looks real on the surface, there was nothing real about it.
This is the kind of thing that should result in whatever accrediting organization issued it being dropped by every school in the nation.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: accreditation

This is the kind of thing that should result in whatever accrediting organization issued it being dropped by every school in the nation.

OK, I looked into this a bit more… Wikipedia claims the fake university was approved by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, which is what an educational visa requires. By that logic, the students shouldn’t be kicked out. SEVP is run by the ever-trustworthy ICE agency, meaning ICE approved themselves. Schools that "drop" this status would be unable to accept most foreign students.

The accreditors were the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs and the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges. They don’t mean anything to visa policy, but it may not be practical for Michigan universities to drop the former accreditation.

Anonymous Coward says:

It’s difficult to imagine a court being OK with the details of this sting operation — one that targeted immigrants and visitors trying to extend their stays lawfully.

It doesn’t seem that difficult. ATF’s fake stash houses containing large amounts of highly valuable fictitious drugs, guarded by well-armed fictitious drug runners, are at least as shocking, and did not receive nearly the smackdown that they deserved. Why would courts look less favorably on ICE arranging civil entrapment than they do on ATF arranging criminal entrapment?

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »