The Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (more commonly known by its acronym ICE) has been at the center of the controversies over the inhumane treatment of immigrants with their policies or separating families and keeping children in extremely cold cages with little food or sanitation facilities and required to sleep on concrete floors with thin blankets.
But they spread their cruelty widely and the Detroit Free Press reports on an elaborate scheme in which they set up an entirely phony university to entice students, some of whom were in the US legally, to enroll in them and then used that to deport them.
A total of about 250 students have now been arrested since January on immigration violations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of a sting operation by federal agents who enticed foreign-born students, mostly from India, to attend the school that marketed itself as offering graduate programs in technology and computer studies, according to ICE officials.
The students had arrived legally in the U.S. on student visas, but since the University of Farmington was later revealed to be a creation of federal agents, they lost their immigration status after it was shut down in January.
Meanwhile, seven of the eight recruiters who were criminally charged for trying to recruit students have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced in Detroit, including Prem Rampeesa, 27, last week. The remaining one is to be sentenced in January.
Attorneys for the students arrested 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 that was working with the U.S. on its sting operation also listed the university as legitimate.
The fake university is believed to have collected millions of dollars from the unsuspecting students. An email from the university’s president, named Ali Milani, told students that graduate programs’ tuition is $2,500 per quarter and the average cost is $1,000 per month.
“They made a lot of money,” Reddy said of the U.S. government.
Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez attacks the lengths that ICE is going to entrap people and calls for the abolishing of the agency.
Abolish ICE. https://t.co/9uMtKmyEI1
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) November 27, 2019