Shannon A. Garrido
The Department of Homeland Security set up the University of Farmington in metro Detroit in 2015, which recruited about 600 students. Several reports have stated that the school had no physical classrooms or teaching staff, and the students never even attended any classes. According to a Forbes article published only 16hrs ago, many international students enrolled in what is presumed to be a fake university through a visa program that allows foreigners to work and study in the U.S.
Heres when the story gets interesting. The Detroit Free-Press, writes that about 250 students attending the University, mostly from India, have been arrested on immigration violations since the beginning of the year. Many have been deported back to India, while others are expecting their removal in late time.
But how did DHS get away with it? Well initially these students arrived legally to the country on student visas, but once it’s revealed that the University of Farmington was a creation of federal agents, they lost their immigration status after it was shut down in January. Some student attorneys said they were unfairly trapped by the U.S. government since the Department of Homeland Security had said on its website that the university was legitimate. An accreditation agency working with the U.S. on its sting operation also listed the university as legitimate.
The Detroit office of ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) told the Free Press that “nearly 80% were granted voluntary departure and departed the United States.” HSI Detroit concludes that the remaining 20% some have received a final order of removal or were ordered removed by an immigration judge. Not only has the DHS and ICE received compensation from a fake institution designed to basically collect immigrants, but the Federal Government is believed to have collected millions of dollars in tuition money from students. Eight men were charged earlier this year for acting as recruiters for the fake university, seven pled guilty and are serving time while one is expected to be sentenced next month.
Prem Rampeesa one of the hundreds of students enrolled, was sentenced last week to one year in prison, with time already served of 295 days. He should be out in about two to three months, and will then be deported to India, said his attorney Wanda Cal. Rahul Reddy, a Texas attorney who represented or advised some of the students arrested, told the Free Press this week, that in some cases, students who transferred out from the University of Farmington after realizing they didn’t have classes on-site, were still arrested. B