US immigration protestors.
(photo credit: AP)
US Homeland Security created a fake university in a sting operation to deter visa fraud, leading to the arrest of roughly 161 students, the Detroit Free Press reported on Friday.
The students were mostly from India, with one Palestinian hailing from the West Bank.
Eight US citizens were arrested for the alleged crime of committing visa fraud and harboring aliens for profit.
The students are now being removed from the US after being arrested by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE), which is under the Homeland Security Department.
The fake university of Farmington Hills was located in metro Detroit but no classes were ever held in it. It attracted roughly 600 Indian students who obtained legal student visas for the US.
US Homeland Security claimed the students who enrolled "knew that they would not attend any actual classes, earn credits or make academic progress toward an actual degree," the indictment read.
Currently 440 students, who were not arrested, are unsure of their legal status in the US.
President of the American Telugu Association Parmesh Bheemreddy said that it has "never happened in the history of the Indian diaspora" that so many students were arrested at the same time.
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