US college scam: Some return home; others detained

World

08 Feb 2019

US college scam: 30 'students' return home; others remain detained

At least 30 'students' from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, who had been caught up in an immigration racket, have returned to India from the US.

According to Telugu organizations who had been working with the 'students', these 'students' were not among those who were detained or served notices in the 'pay-to-stay' scam uncovered earlier.

Here are the details.

Backstory

Backstory: Details about the fake university scam

Backstory: Details about the fake university scam

As part of an undercover operation to unearth immigration fraud Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) agents had posed as the owners of the fake University of Farmington, Michigan between June 2017 and January 2019.

The university neither had faculty nor any classes, but Indian 'students' would enroll in it anyway and pay fees to fraudulently maintain their student visa status and obtain a work permit.

Details

The 'pay-to-stay' fake university scam was busted last week

As it stands, as many as 129 'students' from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana are under "administrative detention" after the fake university scam was busted last week.

Around 600 'students' had enrolled in the fake university - University of Farmington, Michigan - floated by US authorities.

Among them 90% were reportedly Indians, and 80% were Telugu.

Eight Indians who worked as recruiters were arrested too.

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'Students' returning home wouldn't face problems in finding employment

'Students' returning home wouldn't face problems in finding employment

Given this situation, Telugu organizations felt that returning home was the best option for those 'victim students' who had not been detained or served notices by US authorities for violating immigration laws.

These organizations also said that the 'students' who are returning home would not have difficulty in finding employment as they had already completed their MS from other universities.

No problem for un-detained 'students' in returning home

"Those who had shifted to other universities are safe but there is no problem for others in returning home," Buchiram Kalapatapu, chief coordinator, Andhra Pradesh Non-Resident Telugu (APNRT) Society, told news agency IANS.

Other details

Many 'students' want to work in US for loan repayment

Earlier, APRNT Society President Ravikumar P. Vemuru had said that since the 'students' enrolled in the fake university had no clear-cut intention of defrauding US authorities, the maximum punishment they could face was deportation.

However, since almost all the 'students' paid $20,000-$25,000 for enrollment at the fake university, many of them want to stay and work in the US to repay the loans.

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