ICE arrested 250 foreign students through phony university

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

ICE arrests 250 foreign student in fake university scheme

Credit: DaytonDailyNews

The Department of Homeland Security has arrested 250 foreign students who enrolled into a phony university on immigration violations.

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U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement created Farmington University in Detroit and enticed foreign students, mostly from India, to enroll in its technology and computer programs, the Detroit Free Press reported.

The fake school had offices in Farmington Hills but no classes or teachers. It is believed to have collected millions of dollars from the students. Tuition was about $12,000. More than 600 students enrolled in the school.

Nearly 80% of those arrested have voluntarily left the country. About half of those who remain have received final orders for removal.

"(ICE) trapped the vulnerable people who just wanted to maintain (legal immigration) status," Rahul Reddy, an attorney for some of the arrested students, told the Free Press. "They preyed upon them."

Recruiters were paid to help foreigners maintain their status as “students” and get work permits. Seven of eight recruiters charged by the government pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. The eighth person will be sentenced in January.

The Associated Press contributed to this report.