India issues demarche to USA on detention of students

Minnie Murray
February 3, 2019

The university has website set up with a physical address to a building on Northwestern Highway just south of 13 Mile.

Lawyers have argued numerous students enrolled believing the university was legal. Out of these, nearly 129 are claimed to be Indian students and student recruiters.

The recruiters helped the students to fraudulently obtain immigration documents from the school in a bid to deceive authorities, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said. The arrested persons were Barath Kakireddy, 29, of Lake Mary, Florida; Suresh Kandala, 31, of Culpeper, Virginia; Phanideep Karnati, 35, of Louisville, Kentucky; Prem Rampeesa, 26, of Charlotte, North Carolina; Santosh Sama, 28, of Fremont, California; Avinash Thakkallapally, 28, of Harrisburg, Pennsylvania; Aswanth Nune, 26, of Atlanta; and Naveen Prathipati, 26, of Dallas.

The two others arrested elsewhere are expected to brought to Detroit. Eight student recruiters were charged for assisting 600 foreign students to illegally stay in the US.

"As part of this investigation, numerous foreign nationals face administrative immigration violations".

"These individuals have been placed in removal proceedings, and ICE will seek to maintain them in its custody pending the outcome of those proceedings", he said.

Speaking to WION, Surendra Adhana, Deputy Consul General, Indian Consulate Houston said, "Each consulate in the United States of America is getting consular access to students detained in their jurisdiction".

It is not the first time USA authorities have run such an operation.

In an exclusive interview to ANI, Shringla said, "We are obviously concerned and distressed that so many Indian students have been implicated in this issue regarding the University of Farmington in Farmington Hills, Michigan".

According to the federal indictment, a copy of which is available with Telangana Today, 'beginning in 2015, the university was part of a federal law enforcement undercover operation created to identify recruiters and entities engaged in immigration fraud. The university had no staff, no teachers, and conducted no real classes.

The eight alleged recruiters assisted foreign citizen students in "fraudulently obtaining immigration documents from the school and facilitated the creation of false student records, including transcripts, for the objective of deceiving immigration authorities", it said.

The eight defendants were charged criminally for conspiracy to commit visa fraud and harbouring aliens for profit.

The foreign students, however, had no intention of attending school, it added. Termed "pay-to-stay" scheme, the prosecutors have alleged that students knowingly enrolled themselves in the fake university to maintain their student visa status to remain in the US.

It said the students should be treated differently to any recruiters who may have duped them.

India has been seeking consular access to these students since Wednesday when they got arrested by the US Department of Homeland Security.

Although the latest arrests came during a period of heightened immigration enforcement under President Donald Trump, Farmington University was set up in 2015 by Democratic President Barack Obama's administration.

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