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Detained 130 foreign students were aware of their crime: State Dept

Posted in Featured, World

Published on February 10, 2019 with No Comments

All 130 foreign students, including 129 Indians who were detained for enrolling in a fake university, were aware that they were committing a crime to fraudulently remain in the US, the US state department has said, days after India issued a demarche to the American Embassy in New Delhi.
The foreign students were arrested last week by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for enrolling at the University of Farmington, allegedly to remain in America. The fake university was set up by the DHS’s investigating unit in Greater Detroit area to bust the “pay-and-stay” racket.
“All participants in this scheme knew that the University of Farmington had no instructors or classes -neither on-line nor in-person and were aware they were committing a crime in an attempt to fraudulently remain in the United States,” a State Department spokesperson said in a statement. The response came after India issued a demarche to the American Embassy in New Delhi expressing its concern over the detention of Indian students and sought immediate consular access to them.
The External Affairs Ministry of India said that it continued to closely monitor the situation arising out of the mass detention. Eight of the individuals who ran this racket have been arrested and are either Indian citizen or Indian American.The fake university which had no classes, a low tuition fee and gave work permits on the very first of the enrolments of the students had some 600 students, an overwhelming majority of whom are Indians.
The actual number of those detained is much higher. Some of the students who were released and many of those who escaped detention have left the country. A large number of Indian students have been radio tagged and authorities have put restrictions on their movement. The Indian Embassy here has made an aggressive effort to reach out to these students and, with the help of the community leaders, is providing them with legal help.
“It is unfortunate that some student recruiters and individuals seek to use the international student programme to foster illegal immigration status in the United States,” the State Department said.
The Indian embassy in the US has also opened a 24/7 hotline to assist 129 Indian students. It has appointed a nodal officer to help the students in distress.

 

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