Department Of Homeland Security, University Of Farmington, University Of Farmington Meden discussed on Today, Explained
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Open your door it's US immigration and Customs Enforcement Ice. And you find out that the whole thing's fake. The university doesn't actually exist. It has no curriculum no classes. It's all scheme to weed out fraud. And now you might be deported Nicole. Maria Maria you cover immigration evokes. What exactly went down at the imaginary universe of Farmington in Detroit? So we've known about the scheme. Mm since last January when a series of indictments came out but the Detroit free press reported last week that there were over one hundred new arrests of students in connection with the scheme so so that brought the total up to about two hundred fifty students who have been arrested now. The university was listed on the Department of Homeland Security website as an approved accredited school school making it apparently legit but it was actually undercover ice agents who advertised the university on a now defunct website and and their objective was to weed out students who might be trying to obtain student visas fraudulently and to do so they worked with recruiters who were basically weekly paid to attract over six hundred students to the school and all these students transferred from previously accredited school so they were in legitimate programs prior to arriving at the university Farmington so that means that these students were here on legitimate visas. Everything was above board. Yes up until the point that they arrived at the University of Farmington Meden. WHO's getting caught up in the scheme? So it was primarily students from India studying at the graduate level. They were coming on F one student visas and they were coming from accredited universities previously any. US Do we know if all these students thought this was a real school. Some of the students thought that this was legitimate program or at least. That's what they're attorneys are saying right now. So they say that they've been duped by the Department of Homeland Security have admissions and for University of Burlington Career College. It's easy to see how an outsider could mistake the fake university for real one. It was listed on the Department of Homeland Security Websites. Okay so some students may not know that this was a fake school but others may have been into that idea so there's no way to tell how many fraudulent actors were actually actually a part of the scheme. Some students might have seen this as a pay to play scheme where they were essentially paying the tuition fees and the other fees that are associated with enrolling and the university in order to obtain a student visa that would allow them to go in and out of the country freely as they pleased that a popular scheme according to the Department the Homeland Security. It is but we don't have really hard numbers on how many students are abusing the system. But this is the thing that happens. Students will sign up for classes at a school. That won't actually make them come to class. Yes that's what happens. How exactly did this whole thing work? What along the way where? The signs that some students may have picked up up on and others didn't D- University didn't have any physical classrooms. No teachers no curriculum. No classes so Ice Argues that it should have been obvious to the students that they weren't actually enrolled in a university that would have allowed them to maintain legally their student visas but some of them even made attempts to verify that this was a legitimate program and the administrators told them that it was so in that sense. If you're being told that this is an accredited university the administrators are telling you that then. They have no reason to think that it shouldn't have been legitimate but to be clear here's students were signing up for university the didn't have classes presumably. Yes but maybe perhaps foreign students aren't totally clear. Clear on how American universities work how these programs should be administered. Maybe they thought they would be eventually allowed to sign up for online classes. It's unclear exactly how they thought that this could have been illegitimate university. People who worked in the buildings they students constantly asked how to talk to someone about classes. They paid for fuel says No. Some of them didn't even know. So what's GonNa Happen to the people who were sort of caught up in the scheme so at this point a lot of them have been been given the opportunity to leave the country voluntarily. All of their student visas have been revoked In connection to the scheme even if people realize amid the scheme that they they were being duped they might transferred out of the university but those people have still been arrested by ice so the ultimate fact of this could just be that they'll have have to leave the country. They may be out several thousand dollars in tuition that they made it to the University of Farmington. It's now in the Department of Homeland. Security's coffers we don't know what's happening with that money and any chance that they might have it coming back to the. US might be stymied at this point because this deportation Asian or voluntary departure as they call it. which doesn't involve necessarily being escorted on a plane by ICE agents but does involve leaving? The country would basically basically prejudice any further attempts. They would make to re enter the. US does ice to a lot of policing of people who are here on student visas. Is this like a large batch. Watch of their focus. Because these aren't the stories we typically hear about ice going after undocumented immigrants and these students aren't undocumented technically because they have student visas so in recent years about five hundred thousand students have been landing these visas annually. It's not a huge batch of the legal immigrants that are coming here annually and it hasn't historically been a population that isis deciding to go after particularly because these people are here temporarily just to go to school school but the trump administration for whatever reason has decided to make this and enforcement priority for them. So they've been trying to cram crackdown on people who might be it using the system fraudulently but in the scheme. There's really no way of telling who was an actor and who was just sort of an innocent bystander. So ice here you're has set up an entire fake university named at the University of Farmington. Got It accreditation. Through the Department of Homeland Security. Let students enroll let students pay even and is now at least in some cases deporting students for not figuring out that this was a fake a situation. That's the whole scheme here. That's how it looks Jeff. Is this the first time I tried something like this made a whole fake school school so it's actually not the first time and it's certainly not the first administration to carry out. These kinds of policies under Obama similar scheme was set up in two thousand thirteen a university. They call the University of Northern New Jersey and as part of that scheme which was set up by ice the visas over a thousand students were revoked. And there were also indictments of twenty-one other middlemen who are involved so we've seen schemes like this before but with increased attention on ice and movements like abolish ice. which has been amplified by people like Elizabeth Warren and Alexandria Cossio Cortez? It's been causing a lot more outrage these these kinds of extraordinary enforcement practices on the part of ice which are also part of a larger scheme to corner immigrants and some policies eh carried out under the trump administration.