Biden Administration Says There's Nothing Wrong With ICE Setting Up A Fake College To Dupe Foreign Students Out Of Their Money, Residency

from the fake-show-must-go-on dept

In 2019, facts came to light showing ICE had set up an entire fake college in Michigan to “catch” foreign visitors in the act of COMPLYING WITH FEDERAL LAW by continuing to pursue advanced degrees. Student visas remain valid as long as foreign visitors continue their education. The dwindling supply of H-1B visas under Trump meant that staying on top of educational obligations was a priority for those already in the country.

But instead of sitting back and seeing whether some H-1B visa holders violated their obligations, ICE set up an a fake college — one with a campus and a Facebook page and personnel who gladly accepted $100 application fees from H-1B hopefuls. ICE even asked a private entity to step in and designate its faux college as fully accredited for H-1B applicants to sell the ruse.

After the ruse served its purpose, ICE moved in. It managed to ensnare all of eight people who might be associated with defrauding foreign visitors. ICE apparently avoided looking too hard at itself and its personnel… which took cash from applicants in exchange for false promises about visa extensions. More than 150 duped students were arrested but only eight of those are actually facing criminal charges.

ICE said it was the foreign students’ own fault if they didn’t recognize the carefully constructed ruse for what it was. It also said it was trying to protect people from fraud, even as it defrauded more than 600 students out of $100 application fees. Multiple lawsuits against ICE have been filed since this information became public. And, so far, two consecutive administrations have failed to talk federal courts into dismissals.

We’ve had a change in regimes and DOJ figureheads, but the government continues to insist it has done nothing wrong. If anyone was expecting Biden to roll back all the anti-immigrant policies and programs instituted by former president Donald Trump, they need to brace themselves for a whole bunch of disappointment. The new, improved DOJ is still the same old DOJ. The government did nothing wrong, the DOJ continues to insist, despite many in the current administration claiming the previous presidency did a whole lot of wrong.

The U.S. government set up a fake university as a sting operation ostensibly to catch foreigners using school admission for visas. Now, those caught up by it are seeking their time in court — and say they have found the new presidential administration no friendlier to their fight.

The Biden administration followed in the Trump administration’s footsteps in February requesting a class-action lawsuit over the fake University of Farmington be dismissed from Federal Claims Court.

The members of the Biden administration — in particular, Kamala Harris — openly criticized ICE’s tactics. But the administration isn’t willing to drop its defense of ICE, which means it’s tacitly approving even the most questionable of sting operations by federal agencies.

This is the government shielding itself from having to abandon highly questionable operations even as its figureheads (President Biden, VP Harris) talk a good game about being better on immigration than their predecessors. It’s all an act. No one wants to invite courts to question the legitimacy of government sting operations that defraud hundreds of students and seemingly cross over into entrapment. If certain agencies can’t manufacture a few criminals on the side, they may have trouble justifying their billion dollar budgets. And we apparently can’t have that happen, no matter who’s occupying the Oval Office.

Filed Under: , , , ,

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 “Biden Administration Says There's Nothing Wrong With ICE Setting Up A Fake College To Dupe Foreign Students Out Of Their Money, Residency”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
30 Comments

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

Mr Juan 'Bugsy' Rico says:

NO, foreigner criminals looked for way to evade law.

If certain agencies can’t manufacture a few criminals on the side,

As usual, you advocate foreigners over citizens. Why is that? What’s in it for you?

ICE only provided inviting opportunity to FAKE the requirement. I bet was clearly FAKE imitating similar. — How else would 600 foreigners have found this unless specifically looking for a FAKE school? They didn’t check it out before paying? NO, they KNEW.

On the positive side, it’s a bit hopeful that: A) Techdirt has discovered the over-arching Establishment / bureaucracy so long ignored and denied here, and B) that not everyone even in an un-elected admin is willing to blatantly and for sure destroy the country by allowing in unlimited numbers of third-worlders.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

Mr Juan 'Bugsy' Rico says:

Re: NO, foreigner criminals looked for way to evade law.

HEY, the mighty filters are DOWN today! All my several comments have gone in first click. What did you change, Techdirt? And how long will this last? Are you allowing me in hopes of stirring up the fanboys so looks there’s interest in this tiny little waning site? — Don’t rely on me, ’cause there’s VERY little interest in the FEW topics of late. I’m here for TOPICS, NOT TROLLING ad hom as your fanboys do.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

If anyone was expecting Biden to roll back all the anti-immigrant policies and programs instituted by former president Donald Trump, they need to brace themselves for a whole bunch of disappointment.

Eh, high expectations are disappointments planned in advance. Besides, I never expected Biden to be anything other than “not as much of a self-aggrandizing dickbag as Old 45” — which, to be fair, he is pulling off.

Maybe we’ll see an actual fucking leftist in the White House in 2025.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
crade (profile) says:

I don’t get the "haha gotcha part"..

Wasn’t the authority to decide which schools meet the requirements for that Visa delegated to the accreditation agency? If they say it’s a legitimate school it is right? They do a bad job making that decision doesn’t take away their authority to make it

Or is it that the accreditation somehow has nothing to do with whether a school meets the requirements for H-1B visa?

I’m missing the punchline where the gov’t gets to pull the rug out and reveal it was all a ruse.. where’s the ruse in having people signing up for a legitimately accredited institution? Haha, it should never have been accredited because it doesn’t meet the requirements? But the students didn’t accredit it..

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The fun part is how the agency that granted them accreditation just utterly destroyed their credibility from that point on, as if they’re willing to grant accreditation to a bogus school then clearly their standards are empty and their stamp of approval meaningless.

crade (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

But it’s not just some private entity dependent on their credibility, The government decides who gets to be recognized as valid accrediting agencies. I don’t see how it can be argued that you are granting accreditation to a bogus school anymore.. I would say at that point you are officially recognizing that school as legitimate and you just have terrible standards for what makes a legitimate school in your country

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

Koby (profile) says:

JeBaited

The government engages in a few enforcement actions that manages to catch a small number of crooks, in order to gain publicity and deter a larger amount of others. As an example, Highway Patrol setting up bait cars will not prevent all car theft. If I mess up on my taxes, and the IRS decides to audit me, they aren’t going to show any mercy. Similarly, student visitors ought to feel some fear of attempting to remain under fraudulent pretenses. There NEEDS to be a risk of getting caught.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Stephen T. Stone (profile) says:

Re:

student visitors ought to feel some fear of attempting to remain under fraudulent pretenses

The problem, then, is that the students (likely) thought they were attempting to remain under perfectly legal pretenses. From the article:

ICE said it was the foreign students’ own fault if they didn’t recognize the carefully constructed ruse for what it was.

The whole point of this bullshit was for ICE to put together a ruse that looked perfectly legal as a way of fooling foreign students into fucking themselves over for trying to stay in the country in a perfectly legal way. How could the government fucking people over for trying to follow the law ever deter anyone from breaking the law?

Or do you not care because “America First”?

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: JeBaited

This wasn’t enforcement action, or setting up bait cars to discourage theft. This was the police putting up shiny, authentic looking (certified by NHTSA!) "Speed Limit 100 mph" signs and then giving speeding tickets for everyone driving 100 mph.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: JeBaited

Similarly, student visitors ought to feel some fear of attempting to remain under fraudulent pretenses.

It helps if you actually read the article, less chance of ending up with your foot in your mouth.

ICE even asked a private entity to step in and designate its faux college as fully accredited for H-1B applicants to sell the ruse.

ICE said it was the foreign students’ own fault if they didn’t recognize the carefully constructed ruse for what it was.

This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: JeBaited

I mean, if ICE set up a website offering fake collage admission and attendance so that users could fool the government and keep their visas, that would be a sting.

I think the whole point is that they do it the one way, but play it the other way after the fact – the big lie method seems to work, even in broad daylight. There seem to always be enough evil morons to support such narratives, like our local village idiot.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: JeBaited

Had they created a fake platform that was advertised as a way to cheat the system and scooped up only those that fell for it that would be one thing and I don’t imagine many people would have objected, but by creating a bogus school to ‘catch’ those that were attempting to comply with the law, and then blaming the would-be students for not seeing through the official accreditation and realizing it was a bogus school they lost any support they might have had other than from people who’s thought process starts and ends at ‘if they’re not natural born americans screw ’em’.

This comment has been deemed insightful by the community.
That One Guy (profile) says:

Words are empty, what matters is action

The members of the Biden administration — in particular, Kamala Harris — openly criticized ICE’s tactics. But the administration isn’t willing to drop its defense of ICE, which means it’s tacitly approving even the most questionable of sting operations by federal agencies.

If you’re willing to criticize someone or something when you don’t have the power to change it but not willing to do anything when you gain that power then you’ve shown that your earlier objections were nothing but faux outrage, said not because of what you truly felt but merely because you thought it would benefit you to have said them.

Or as Jon Stewart put it, ‘If you don’t stick to your values when they’re being tested, they’re not values, they’re hobbies.’

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published.

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 »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...
Loading...