The Department of Homeland Security set up a fake university – made to look like it was in the Detroit area- to find foreign students who wanted to stay in the U.S. without proper authorization in a “pay to play” scheme, according to reports.
U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Michigan, Matthew Schneider, told the Detroit Free Press that ICE arrested Eight people and charged them with conspiracy to commit visa fraud and harboring undocumented immigrants for profit.
Six were arrested in Detroit, one in Florida and other in Virginia.
Dubbed the University of Farmington, the fake institution had been operated by Homeland Security in Farmington Hills since 2015 and had a website touting its “dynamic business administration and STEM curriculum.”
The school had no faculty or classes and no curriculum.
An email from Fox News to Immigration and Customs Enforcement early Thursday was not immediately returned.
The students would enroll to obtain jobs under a student visa program called Curricular Practical Training.
An indictment unsealed on Wednesday said the defendants helped 600 undocumented immigrants to enroll in the fake University of Farmington in exchange for cash, kickbacks and also tuition credits.
“We are all aware that international students can be a valuable asset to our country, but as this case shows, the well-intended international student visa program can also be exploited and abused,” Schneider said in a statement.
The indictment says the students who did enroll “knew that they would not attend any actual classes, earn credits or make academic progress towards an actual degree,” but enrolled just to remain in the USA. Student visas allow individuals to remain in the U.S. if they are enrolled in school and working toward a degree. If not, they have to
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