US Presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren was quick to denounce the scheme on her Twitter labelling it ‘cruel and appalling’ emphasising that these students dreamed of getting ‘quality education’ and ICE ruined that dream for them.
Democrat and Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez also expressed her outrage at ICE in a Tweet urging law makers to oppose such ‘mass incarceration’ schemes.
The operation began in 2016 where the so-called ‘University of Farmington’ offered students a chance to enrol in an effort to maintain their visa status and get a degree and training permit that would allow them to stay in the US.
Over 600 students, mostly Indians, enrolled at the University created by ICE officials and registered with the Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs at Farmington Hill, Michigan.
ICE officials even went as far a setting up a website for the fake university that listed the history of the university and stated the fees for different courses. The website listed that the university would be charging between $2500 to $10,000 per year for a graduate degree which is low by American standards. This comparatively low cost is what attracted students.
The Detroit Free Press reported that around 250 students at the fake university had been arrested by ICE in recent months.
An indictment submitted to the US court claimed that foreign citizens were using the university in a ‘pay to stay’ scheme which allowed these people to stay on in America as full-time students in an ‘approved’ education scheme.
It further claimed that students enrolled at this university knew they would not be getting degrees from it.
Almost 80 per cent of those arrested have been deported to India while others are contesting their removal orders.
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