ICE Created Fake University, Used It To Arrest Over 150 People

Eight recruiters and 146 students have been arrested in a sting operation connected to University of Farmington.

Detroit, MI – Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) officials have arrested 146 students and eight recruiters in a massive sting operation involving an imaginary university that was helping students remain in the United States illegally.

Federal prosecutors said the eight recruiters have been charged with visa fraud conspiracy and harboring aliens for profit, the Detroit News reported.

Those recruiters helped at least 600 foreign nationals stay and work in the United States by enrolling them in what they knew was a fake university.

Public records showed that federal immigration enforcement officials followed the exact same playbook that they used in New Jersey in 2016 when they arrested 21 students enrolled in the imaginary University of Northern New Jersey, the Detroit News reported.

The eight recruiters "collectively received $250,000 in cash and kickbacks to find students to attend the university."

Then they helped those students obtain fake documents from the university that would make it easier for them to get student visas, such as student records and transcripts, according to the Detroit News.

The problem was that none of the students were actually attending or participating online in any classes because, beyond its targeted recruiting, the University of Farmington did not exist.

U.S. Magistrate Judge David Grand ordered the recruiters held without bond, pending a hearing, the Detroit News reported.

"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," Special Agent Steve Francis, a special agent in charge of ICE's Homeland Security Investigations office in Detroit, told the Detroit News.

Federal agents said that all the students participating in University of Farmington knew it was a sham and will face deportation from the United States.

Department of Homeland Security (DHS) agents created an elaborate front for the imaginary school, registering a .edu website with lots of pictures of happy students attending classes, and a promise of a curriculum that was flexible for work schedules, the Detroit News reported.

That website has since been shut down and has a notice on it that it was closed by immigration.

University of Farmington, which was launched in 2015 under the Obama administration, also had active social media profiles and was accredited by the Accrediting Commission of Career Schools and Colleges, the same legitimate organization that worked with DHS on the New Jersey sting in 2016, the Detroit News reported.

DHS also listed University of Farmington as an accepted institution for visas on its own website to complete the illusion.

"The University was being used by foreign citizens as a 'pay to stay' scheme which allowed these individuals to stay in the United States as a result of foreign citizens falsely asserting that they were enrolled as full-time students in an approved educational program and that they were making normal progress toward completion of the course of study," the indictment said, according to Business Insider.

"It's creative, and it's not entrapment," former federal prosecutor Peter Henning told the Detroit News. "The government can put out the bait, but it's up to the defendants to fall for it."

Critics of the sting operation argued that it targeted people who were just trying to better their lives through education, the Detroit Free Press reported.

All 146 students who were arrested were from India, except 29-year-old Palestinian Najlaa Karim Musarsa.

Musarsa was released and has already returned to the West Bank, the Detroit Free Press reported.

Comments (15)
No. 1-12
TrueAmerican
TrueAmerican

Job well done!

Readbetweenthelines
Readbetweenthelines

Funny how it mentions ‘under the Obama administration’ , yet the Democratic Party are now so against ICE. Oh, the plot thickens, while stirred! hahahaha

Mrs10
Mrs10

"Critics of the sting operation argued that it targeted people who were just trying to better their lives through education, the Detroit Free Press reported."

No, it targeted people who wanted the reward of staying here without actually having to work. Superb bust!

TarnishedCopper
TarnishedCopper

Kudos!!

RPG156
RPG156

There needs to be more creative investigations.

Da$
Da$

"Build it and they will come."

jericho777
jericho777

Critics of the sting operation argued that it targeted people who were just trying to better their lives through education, the Detroit Free Press reported.

When does Illegal mean illegal to these Democrats and Liberals...

Nighthawk644
Nighthawk644

this was some great police work!

Gap Filler
Gap Filler

"Critics of the sting operation argued that it targeted people who were just trying to better their lives through education"

If none of them show up, take the online courses but rather just pay a fee to someone else for paperwork to stay in the U.S. illegally, how is that bettering yourself through education? That may be how a liberal sees but I say bull!

If you put $10 on a table and someone sees it, they are faced with a couple of choices; 1.) It doesn't belong to you so don't touch it, 2.) Pick it up and pocket it and you just became a thief.

These people were given the same two choices and they chose the illegal route.

THEDUKE
THEDUKE

"Ok class....time is up ...Please turn in your papers."

Woobie46
Woobie46

Who doesn't love a great sting???? And who doesn't love ICE??? The best!

Woobie46
Woobie46

And what great news about the scummers who are behind getting them false documents and then reap a $250K reward for getting them in the "school".