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Asian students who have been driven out of the United States by phishing law enforcement

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If you are a US student, you will have a good salary after graduation, but you will not be able to get a formal work visa when you are in the US. But you still want to stay in the US, what should you do then?

At this point you see a university that is certified by many official agencies. The principal also guarantees that the coursework will not affect the work. You only need to pay a relatively small amount of tuition to continue to work legally as a student. It is. Will you be tempted?

There are hundreds of international students from India and other parts of Asia who are tempted to face such opportunities.

As of February 11, 146 of them have been arrested.

A typical situation is that the arrested international student studied for a master's degree in the United States. He used his temporary work qualifications during and after graduation. He found a job and even earned a monthly salary of $3,500. But like many people, he did not get a formal work visa (H-1B) after the temporary qualification expired.

The choice placed in front of him seems to be only illegally staying in the United States, or returning to a place where he does not want to go back. It was at this time that his friend mentioned a university, the University of Farmington, which was cheap and well-certified.

After a study, the international student was pleasantly surprised to find that the university is said to have a long history and is also certified by the Department of Homeland Security Immigration and Customs Enforcement (hereinafter referred to as the Immigration Bureau). The homepage of the official website is a group of students sitting in the classroom and looking at the book with a pen.

After contacting the school, he received an e-mail from the principal, which read: "I am very happy to talk to you, thank you for your recent interest in Farmington University, a nationally recognized commercial and STEM institution. At the University of London, we have created an innovative learning environment that combines traditional teaching with full-time professional experience. We offer flexible curriculum and focus on serving students who don't want to interrupt their careers." (Note: STEM is science, technology The acronym of the four disciplines of engineering, mathematics and mathematics, the US government attaches great importance to the development of these pieces, and also gives better visas for international students engaged in these fields. For example, the time for temporary work in the United States after graduation is generally STEM. 3 years, while the rest of the profession is only 1 year.)

“We are accredited by the Vocational School and College Accreditation Board and are licensed by the Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs as a private higher education institution.” The signature at the bottom of the message reads: “A family authorized by the US Department of Homeland Security to recruit international students. Accredited institutions. After the Internet confirmation, the University of Farmington is indeed on the list of these certification bodies.

The most exciting thing is that the university's master's program tuition is only about $1,000 a month, almost half of other equivalent projects. After paying the $100 application fee and application form, he received the acceptance notice the next day.

The student may not have thought that he would be detained in the detention center and returned to the country in an empty space, unable to repay the huge student loan. After an Indian student was sent back to the country, he and his family were asked to pay off the loan principal and interest within four months, otherwise the land they used for mortgage would be confiscated.

The above is based on the integration of a student interview with the Hindustan Times. There are many people who have similar experiences with the student.

Real trap

The so-called Farmington University is actually a fake school set up by undercover personnel of the Department of Homeland Security. They claim that this is specifically for identifying those who intend to use immigration fraud on a student visa. The school has no teachers, no courses, and no staff.

According to the published indictment against students, Farmington University was established in 2015 as a covert operation called “Paper Chase” by the US Department of Homeland Security Immigration, which aims to identify intermediaries engaged in immigration fraud. individual.

Federal unions pretend to be school leaders and communicate with registered and potential students. They work with intermediaries to provide false materials that enable registered students to successfully obtain legal work and identity.

According to the BBC, 130 of the students enrolled at Farmington University on January 30 were arrested, the vast majority of whom were Indian students, and there were reports that included a Chinese student. As of February 11, the number of detainees rose to 146.

Eight intermediaries were simultaneously charged in this large-scale arrest. In February 2017, Sam, a student at Farmington University, contacted the school and asked to pay less for tuition in exchange for new students. Several people subsequently submitted similar conditions to the school. These intermediaries do not know that Farmington University is a fake school established by the Department of Homeland Security. Beginning in late 2017, they began to get paid from the school (that is, the immigration office). Sama received $20,000 each in January and June of 2018.

The federal prosecutor claimed that more than 600 students enrolled at Farmington University knew it was a fake school and was used to defraud visas.

But the information disclosed by the multi-party media presents the other side of the story: this fake school is really too true.

First, all school-generated certifications are authentic. The staff of the certification body said that the Department of Homeland Security had instructed them to put Farmington University on the list of accredited. A similar operation occurred in the undercover operation of the University of North New Jersey two years ago. But it is also a fake university set up by the Department of Homeland Security. The scale of this arrest is much larger.

Second, not all students know that this is a fake school that will not start classes. Post-entry e-mails collected by Detroit Free Press show that many students found that the school did not start classes, but the school kept telling them that they would start class immediately and assured the students that everything was fine. They fully abide by immigration laws.

A student interviewed by the BBC said: "I called the phone number on the website and asked about the course. I was told that they would tell me if they arranged the course." Then he paid the tuition without any doubt. Then wait for the class to wait for more than a year.

Third, students who do not attend classes do not know that they are violating immigration laws. The “Principal” introduced in the email to the students: “In many cases, your previous master's degree credits combined with work experience can replace the traditional coursework and apply to the second master's degree.” That is, students I was told that I can get a degree only if I work or not.

An immigration attorney in Berkeley said: "This is a very well-packaged website. It looks like a real school. I think many students are being used, or attracted to a seemingly legitimate school. ”

Do more than 600 students enrolled at Farmington University have the intention of subjective fraud? The Indian media believes that many students are deceived. Some law school professors commented: "This government-led scam is obviously not to arrest the real offenders, but to cause panic in the immigration system."

On Thursday, four representatives of the House of Representatives sent a letter to the Department of Homeland Security and the Immigration Service to express concerns about the practice. The Indian government also expressed concern in a letter from its Ministry of Foreign Affairs.

On the other hand, a spokesperson for the US State Department told the Hindustan Times: "All participants in this project know that there are no mentors and no courses at Farmington University. They also know that they are committing illegal activities and intend to use fraud. Means stay in the United States."

Wayne State University professor of law, former federal prosecutor Peter Henning, said: "This approach is very creative, and not phishing law enforcement. The government can release this bait, but it depends on whether the defendant will take it. In the United States, law enforcement personnel phishing law enforcement is illegal, but to constitute phishing law enforcement, it is not enough to provide criminal opportunities, but also retungent behavior such as intimidation, deception, jealousy.

Henning believes that the immigration office's practice of setting up a fake university only provides criminal opportunities, but there are other voices that the false information provided by the school website has constituted fraud.

After all, when law enforcement agencies act as liar, the scam becomes difficult to resist.

The world says

Li Yucheng

Responsible Editor | Miao Shuo

Operation Editor | Jia Zhenzhen

Layout Editor | Peng Ningnan

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