United States fake university: India protests after students arrested

United States fake university: India protests after students arrested

The foreign ministry in a statement said India continued to closely monitor the situation arising out of the detention of Indian students in connection with their enrollment in a "fraudulent university in the US".

129 Indians have been arrested by the U.S. authority on Friday after they enrolled themselves in a "fake" university in order to retain their student visa to stay in the US.

"We have urged the USA side to share full details and regular updates of the students with the government, to release them from detention at the earliest and not to resort to deportation against their will", MEA added.

"Rather, their intent was to fraudulently maintain their student visa status and to obtain work authorization under the CPT (a course-related curricular training programme that allows off-campus work authorization for foreign students)".

The fake university was opened by Homeland Security Investigations to trap those involved in illegal student visa racket.

In a surprising case of Indian students getting arrested in United States of America under the alleged 'immigration scam, ' the External Affairs Ministry under Sushma Swaraj has said that 'it's their top priority to get the students back to India under any circumstances'.

India had yesterday issued demarche to the US Embassy in Delhi over the detention.

The Indian government is upset at the way the students were treated following their arrest, including the fitting of tracking devices on the ankles of some to prevent them moving out of designated areas, the people quoted above said.

China, India and South Korea together sent 56.1 per cent of all global students in the United States in 2017-18, an annual survey by the Institute of worldwide Education showed past year. "Special agents from ICE's Homeland Security Investigations arrested eight on criminal charges as part of an investigation into potential abuses of the USA student visa system", the official said. "Vast majority" of those arrested and detained are Indian nationals, an ICE official told PTI.

Meanwhile, the American Telugu Association estimates that about 100 students were arrested and that there are several others facing arrest warrants.

Attorneys have dismissed claims by USA prosecutors that the students were aware the University of Farmington was running an illegitimate operation, saying they legally entered the country with student visas and transferred to the varsity to work. Over the past two years, the varsity enrolled about 600 students, mostly Indians. The indictment says the suspects through their operations allowed students to stay in the U.S. without proper visas.

They collectively profited in excess of a $250,000, the agency said.

In a precedent to the latest sting, immigration agents set up the fake University of Northern New Jersey in 2016 under the Obama administration. Since the early hours of Jan 30, 2019, the ATA legal team and local ATA teams have reached out to the Indian Students Associations of various universities.

Sources said the case has an uncanny link to the 2013 diplomatic row between India and the United States when Indian diplomat Devyani Khobragade was arrested over charges of visa fraud and perjury leading to her detention.

According to the ICE, in 2017, as many as 2,49,763 Indian students were enrolled in the various American universities.

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