Homeland Security Created Fake University to Catch & Deport Foreign Students

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Farmington University? Photo Credit: GoogleMaps Screenshot

The Department of Homeland Security created a fake university for the express purpose of entrapping and deporting foreign students. More than ninety foreign students have been arrested in recent months after the “University of Farmington” in greater Detroit finally shut down. Since January, a total of about 250 students have been arrested by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) on immigration violations .

The “university” was established as part of a sting operation by federal agents who enticed foreign-born students, mostly from India, to attend the school. The school sold itself as a leader in technology and computer science graduate programs, according to ICE officials.

Many of those caught up in the sting have already been deported to India; some are contesting their deportation orders; and one has been granted lawful permanent resident status by an immigration judge.

These are people who had legally come to the US on student visas. However, when the University of Farmington was exposed as the illegitimate child of federal law enforcement agents, the students’ visas and their legal immigration status were voided and nullified as well. The so-called school shut down completely last January. It had been staffed by undercover agents posing as university officials.

ICE said in March that 161 students had been arrested. That number has now risen to about 250 — not quite one-half of the total student population of about 600 people.

Meanwhile, seven of the eight people whom the feds enticed and entrapped to function as “recruiters” of unsuspecting students were criminally charged and pleaded guilty to…get this, trying to recruit students.

Prem Rampeesa, 27, was sentenced last week. Another one is to be scheduled for sentencing sentenced in January.

As might be expected, attorneys for the students arrested have claimed entrapment by the government as their principal defense because the Department of Homeland Security’s website not only vouched for but gave its imprimatur and seal of approval as to the legitimacy of this bogus university. Indeed, an actual and legitimate college and university accreditation agency was working cheek-by-jowl with the feds on this sting operation. That accreditation outfit also signed off on the legitimacy and fully “accredited” status of this “university” as legitimate, above-board operation.

Although the school had been “in business” for years, Michigan’s Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs indicate that the University of Farmington was incorporated in January 2016.

A great many of the students came to the university via a program known as Curricular Practical Training (CPT). This deal let foreign students work in the F-1 visa program, which had been established specifically for foreign students .

Not a small number of students had transferred to the University of Farmington from other schools which had for various and sundry reasons lost accreditation, thereby canceling their immigration status and legal right to remain in the US.

As reported by the Detroit Free Press, Farmington University charged these students about $12,000 in tuition and fees per year.

The US purposely “trapped these vulnerable people who just wanted to maintain [legal immigration] status,” Rahul Reddy, a Texas attorney for some of the arrested students, told the Free Press this week. “They preyed upon them.”

Indeed, this fake university has reportedly collected millions of dollars from the unsuspecting students. The university’s “president,” Ali Milani, told potential grad students in an email that tuition is $2,500 per quarter with an average cost clocking in at $1,000 per month.

The federal government “made a lot of money,” Reddy said.

At this writing, no lawsuit has been filed nor has any other claim against the government been forthcoming, either to recoup the many millions the students were duped out of or for obviously — allegedly — entrapping these unfortunate students.

Attorneys for ICE, the Department of Justice and Homeland Security argue that the students “should have known” that Farmington was not a legitimate university. Why? Because it did not hold classes in a brick-and-mortar location. However, many CPT programs combined online “classes” with work assignments and programs at real companies.

“Their [the students] true intent could not be clearer,” Assistant US Attorney Brandon Helms wrote in a sentencing memo this month for Rampeesa, one of the eight recruiters of the hundreds of students enrolled:

“While ‘enrolled’ at the University, one hundred percent of the foreign citizen students never spent a single second in a classroom. If it were truly about obtaining an education, the University would not have been able to attract anyone, because it had no teachers, classes, or educational services.”

In that same memo, federal prosecutor Baker said this case calls into question the

“…foreign-student visa program;” and said that “immigration and visa programs have been hot-button topics in the United States for years and national scrutiny has only been increasing. Fairly or unfairly, Rampeesa’s conduct casts a shadow on the foreign-student visa program in general, and it raises questions as to whether the potential for abuse threatens to outweigh the benefits.”

Attorney Reddy noted, though, that even students who left the University of Farmington after realizing that things just might not be quite kosher — even they were still arrested.

Rampeesa was sentenced Nov, 19 to one year in federal prison by Judge Gershwin Drain of US District Court in Detroit. He will be deported to India, said his attorney Wanda Cal, after his time is served. He pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit visa fraud and harboring aliens for profit.

Detroit ICE spokesman Khaalid Walls said the other recruiters have been sentenced to from fifteen to twenty-four months in prison, and yes, all will be deported as well when released.

Opinion:

Does this story have something of a familiar ring to it?

No?

Think defunct, fraudulent, discredited, and illegitimate Trump University.

The very same person who founded and for years headed, operated, and profited from “Trump University,” and who was finally forced by the courts to reimburse his legions of defrauded students to the tune of $25 million — that same person is the titular head of the federal government, including the Homeland Security Department, the Department of Justice, and the infamous Immigration, Customs and Enforcement Agency, all of which colluded and conspired to trick unsuspecting foreign students into deportation traps via exploitation of their dreams of achieving an American “higher education.”

And, oh yes…in the process, the feds, like Trump University before them, made a tidy profit off these people’s desires and dreams of becoming not only “legal” but gainfully employed as well.

It is safe to say, then, that Donald Trump knew, or should have known, all about “University of Farmington.” Remember that Trump does not like to rely upon advisors and consultants, because as he is quick to tell anyone who will listen, “I alone will fix it.”

But this story is not just about “illegal immigrants,” or fraudulent universities.

This is also a story of “ethnic cleansing,” American Style. The people/students targeted here for immigration violations and then deportation, just as the immigrants at the southern border are targeted, are very, very specific “types,” “ethnicities,” and yes, “races.” In the case of Farmington University, tech-savvy, highly motivated, East Indian young people and students are singled out as exemplars and test cases for Trump’s Make America White Again campaign.

And, of course, we’ve been watching and worrying over the brutal, cruel and unspeakable goings-on at the Mexican border ever since Trump announced that his greatest gift to white America, as president, will be to build a beautiful wall separating us from them. In the meantime, Trump and his minions are doing all they possibly can to make life as miserable as possible for anyone and everyone with brown or black skin and who may have over-stayed a visa or entered the country illegally — even if it was forty or fifty years ago.

So the point here is that Farmington University is not just an extension (a national extension) of Trump University. It is that, of course. But it is also a real time indication of just exactly what we may expect should this man be granted — by hook or by crook — another term in office.

If so, expect real and massive round-ups and then the herding of anybody Trump and his abominable “base” do not like into honest-to-god concentration camps. And then….

Written by

Freelancer since the earth first began cooling. My beat, justice: racial, social, political, economic and cultural. I’m on FB, Twitter, Link, hdyerjr@gmail.com.

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