A sting operation conducted by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) resulted in the arrests of 250 undocumented immigrants who signed up and paid to enroll in a fake university the agency set up.
The operation took place in Farmington Hills, Michigan, a city of about 80,000 residents that’s just outside of Detroit. Immigrants who applied to the school were mostly from India, according to reporting from The Detroit Metro Times.
Students who enrolled in the fake school originally came to the U.S. through educational visas. ICE maintains that those who tried to sign up knew that the school was fake, as it didn’t have teachers and other aspects that real schools would include.
This story is WILD
ICE created a fake university, then:
– enticed foreign-born students to attend
– charged them money
– arrested them
– deported them
Students had come legally on student visas, but since the school was fake the visas weren't valid https://t.co/N39KWZTFV0
— Lis Power (@LisPower1) November 27, 2019
“While ‘enrolled’ at the University, one hundred percent of the foreign citizen students never spent a single second in a classroom,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Brandon Helms wrote in a statement. “If it were truly about obtaining an education, the University would not have been able to attract anyone, because it had no teachers, classes, or educational services.”
However, ICE went to great lengths to try and make the school seem realistic. It worked with an accreditation agency to obtain fake credentials, and even charged students a $12,000 tuition, which means the government likely profited millions of dollars from the sting operation. The “school” even created a .edu website address, and promoted itself through social media.
News of the arrests first came about in January of this year, but details of the operation were revealed this week, Business Insider reported. According to ICE, 80 percent of those detained chose to voluntarily leave the country, while 20 percent are legally fighting deportation orders that the agency sent out to them.
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Chris Walker is a freelance writer based out of Madison, Wisconsin. A millennial with more than a decade of journalism experience, Chris aims to provide readers with the latest and most accurate news of national importance. Chris likes to spend his free time doing activities in his community with his family.