Several Indian face deportations from the US after authorities busted a “pay to stay” visa racket. US homeland security has arrested eight persons on charges of fraudulently facilitating hundreds of immigrants to illegally remain in the country.
In late-night raids, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials arrested at least six Indian nationals or Indian Americans for aiding foreign nationals to remain in the United States illegally by actively recruiting them to enroll into a fake university in Farmington.
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The university was operated by special agents of the Homeland Security Investigations (HIS) as part of an undercover operation. Simultaneously, the ICE also has started detaining foreign students of this fake university and started the process of their deportation.
“Vast majority” of those arrested and detained are Indian nationals, an ICE official told PTI.
“Special agents from ICE’s Homeland Security Investigations arrested eight on criminal charges as part of an investigation into potential abuses of the US student visa system,” the official said.
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Those arrested by the ICE include Barath Kakireddy, Suresh Kandala, Phanideep Karnati, Prem Rampeesa, Santosh Sama, Avinash Thakkallapally, Aswanth Nune, and Naveen Prathipati. Six of them were arrested in Detroit area while the other two in Virginia and Florida.
According to indictment unsealed in a local court on Wednesday, these eight individuals helped at least 600 foreign nationals stay in the US illegally.
The Indian Embassy in Washington and its consulates are in touch with student organisations and offered help. It is also in touch with US authorities on this issue.