The Department of Homeland Security ran a fake university in Detroit for years as part of an undercover operation to identify recruiters and entities engaged in immigration fraud, according to the Detroit Free Press.
As a result, eight people were arrested and indicted with participating in a conspiracy to help at least 600 foreign citizens stay in the U.S. illegally, according to federal grand jury indictments unsealed Wednesday.
DHS created the University of Farmington in 2015, touting the private university as a “nationally accredited business and STEM institution located in Metro Detroit.”
But there were no instructors, no classes and no legitimate students. The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations office conducted the operation to root out “recruiters” who assisted foreign citizens in obtaining false student transcripts to prove eligibility for the F-1 Visa.
“Homeland Security Investigations special agents uncovered a nationwide network that grossly exploited U.S. immigration laws,” said Steve Francis, special agent in charge of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Homeland Security Investigations office in Detroit.
“These suspects aided hundreds of foreign nationals to remain in the United States illegally by helping to portray them as students, which they most certainly were not. HSI remains vigilant to ensure the integrity of U.S. immigration laws and will continue to investigate this and other transnational crimes.”
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