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Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:15 PM

ICE arrests 90 more students at fake university in Michigan

Source: The Detroit Free Press

About 90 additional foreign students of a fake university in metro Detroit created by the Department of Homeland Security have been arrested in recent months.

A total of about 250 students have now been arrested since January on immigration violations by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) as part of a sting operation by federal agents who enticed foreign-born students, mostly from India, to attend the school that marketed itself as offering graduate programs in technology and computer studies, according to ICE officials.

<snip>

The students had arrived legally in the U.S. on student visas, but since the University of Farmington was later revealed to be a creation of federal agents, they lost their immigration status after it was shut down in January. The school was located on Northwestern Highway near 13 Mile Road in Farmington Hills and staffed with undercover agents posing as university officials.

<snip>

Attorneys for the students arrested said they were unfairly trapped by the U.S. government since the Department of Homeland Security had said on its website that the university was legitimate. An accreditation agency that was working with the U.S. on its sting operation also listed the university as legitimate.

Read more: https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/2019/11/27/ice-arrested-250-foreign-students-fake-university-metro-detroit/4277686002/



Surprisingly, this fake university was founded prior to Trump's election. But it looks like the real shenanigans started in 2017

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Arrow 40 replies Author Time Post
Reply ICE arrests 90 more students at fake university in Michigan (Original post)
caraher Nov 27 OP
atreides1 Nov 27 #1
DENVERPOPS Nov 27 #19
Dyedinthewoolliberal Nov 27 #2
James48 Nov 27 #8
lagomorph777 Nov 27 #21
mr_lebowski Nov 27 #3
TeamPooka Nov 27 #4
jberryhill Nov 27 #5
EarthFirst Nov 27 #11
Newest Reality Nov 27 #6
INdemo Nov 28 #33
SomewhereInTheMiddle Dec 2 #38
RobertDevereaux Nov 27 #7
Mr.Bill Nov 27 #9
virgogal Nov 27 #10
louis-t Nov 27 #12
virgogal Nov 27 #13
Sapient Donkey Nov 28 #34
NotHardly Nov 27 #14
MichMan Nov 27 #15
aggiesal Nov 27 #20
lagomorph777 Nov 27 #22
aggiesal Nov 27 #23
Aquaria Nov 27 #16
jberryhill Nov 27 #17
reACTIONary Nov 27 #26
jberryhill Nov 27 #28
reACTIONary Nov 27 #30
reACTIONary Nov 27 #24
moriah Nov 28 #35
SomewhereInTheMiddle Dec 2 #39
caraher Nov 27 #18
ThoughtCriminal Nov 27 #25
Kurt V. Nov 27 #27
GanjaGrower Nov 27 #29
d_r Nov 27 #31
JonLP24 Nov 28 #32
hughee99 Dec 1 #36
Captain Zero Dec 2 #37
hughee99 Dec 2 #40

Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:19 PM

1. ICE

Just like the Gestapo, only without the long leather coats...

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Response to atreides1 (Reply #1)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 02:56 PM

19. If they had been thinking,

If they had been thinking, they should have enrolled in one of these fake paper mill colleges advertised all over TV and Cable channels and incurred a life time of debt for no degree or certification or transferable credits. If they had done that, the immigration people would have left them alone, to stay and pay on the loan, every month for the rest of their natural born lives.......

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:22 PM

2. What the ever lovin' fuck is this all about?

ICE sets up a fake university, lures immigrant students there, then arrests them for attending a school they created to begin with? Am I understand this correctly?

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:29 PM

8. Yes, exactly.

What a country!

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Response to Dyedinthewoolliberal (Reply #2)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 03:50 PM

21. The people who set this up should be fired and arrested.

And their victims should be compensated.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:22 PM

3. WOWOWOW ... WTFF? And what an utter and complete DICK MOVE by ICE ... nt

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:24 PM

4. That's some fucking bullshit right there.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:25 PM

5. This story makes about zero sense


I don't understand what they were trying to accomplish here.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #5)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:32 PM

11. Pump numbers to legitimize their organization?

As well as bolster their image to the “SEE! TOLD YOU!” crowd?

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:28 PM

6. The Icestappo!

And we pay for this nonsense?

Let's talk about budgets here.

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Response to Newest Reality (Reply #6)


Response to INdemo (Reply #33)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 08:01 AM

38. Except ...

... seeking to purchase for a fake ID may be a crime. Enrolling in a US university that accrediting agencies and the DHS all say is legit is in no way a crime.

I thought intent played a role in crimes. I do not see any criminal intent in these students actions. I am not certain I see any criminal action either, unless they stayed in the country on a student visa once the "university" had shut down. Even then I would hope the law has enough leeway to allow a international students on a student visa the time to find a new school if their sponsoring school shuts down.

This may well have a chilling effect on legitimate universities recruitment of international students, who may then go to RUssia or CHina instead. That would be a loss both economically, educationally (as international students play a globalizing role at US schools), and in terms of the general US reputation abroad.

There may have been some justification for this action, but I do not see it.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:29 PM

7. Utterly disgusting. ABOLISH ICE NOW!

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:29 PM

9. Great idea.

Deport the ones who are trying to educate themselves.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:31 PM

10. Why was it started in 2016 in the first place?

There didn’t seem to be an explanation in what I read at the freep.com link.

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Response to virgogal (Reply #10)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:50 PM

12. Spoiler alert: freep.com is Detroit Free Press

and it is the more liberal Detroit newspaper.

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Response to louis-t (Reply #12)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 12:53 PM

13. Thanks,I had clicked on it....and was a tad confused.

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Response to virgogal (Reply #10)

Thu Nov 28, 2019, 05:40 PM

34. It sounds like they set it up in order to lure in immigrants

who wanted student visas without actually attending school. But it sounds like they were still paying for the tuition. The whole thing is shady and totally lazy "police work". So rather than going after people who are breaking the law/rules 100% on their own, they instead set up a trap and actively recruit people to break the law. People who if not introduced to this "school" by agents may have well very not have done anything illegal or wrong. At least that is the impression I am getting from what I read.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 01:03 PM

14. How is this not some form of entrapment ... fake University tricks real legally engaged students

... if they were here legally and ICE set up a fake university with the help of an accreditation agency and ICE adm, how would the students know it was fake and what was ICE trying to achieve by 'cheating and lying' (like they do all the time)?

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Response to NotHardly (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 01:16 PM

15. It would be obvious when there were no classes ever held.

That it was fake. It was a sting operation to catch "recruiters" that facilitated people trying to scam the student Visa process by attending a fake university.

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Response to NotHardly (Reply #14)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 03:42 PM

20. Entrapment is design by the government to get someone to perform something illegal ...

This is just a plain old sting, targeting foreigners.

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Response to aggiesal (Reply #20)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 03:51 PM

22. A scam, not a sting.

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Response to lagomorph777 (Reply #22)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 03:54 PM

23. Both actually ...

The university was a scam,
pulling in the foreign students and arresting them was a sting.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 01:28 PM

16. Here's the illegal activity committed by the "students" that was omitted:

"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."

<snip>

Rampeesa arrived in the U.S. legally a few years ago on a student visa and earned in 2016 a master's degree in computer science at Northwestern Polytechnic University. But the university later lost its accreditation, which put his immigration status in jeopardy. He had spent $40,000 in tuition and fees for his studies at the university.

"He was desperate to find a way to stay in the United States," Rampeesa's attorney, Cal, wrote in his sentencing memo. He wanted to get a Ph.D. in computer science, she said.

Rampeesa then met Sama, who recruited him to attend the University of Farmington and told him he could get tuition credits if he recruited other students, Cal said.

Sama and Rampeesa were working with people they thought were university officials, but were actually undercover agents for the Department of Homeland Security.

"My client has no other criminal history, not even a traffic ticket," Cal said in court last week.

Assistant U.S. Attorney Baker said in court that Rampeesa was "aware it was completely fake," that "it was just for maintaining status."

<snip>

------------------------

So it was a little more complicated than the big bad government luring students to a fake university. That this so-called school never held any classes, offered no instruction and had zero professors of any kind was a huge honking signal that it was a fake. The people who kept paying "tuition" did so to maintain their student visas, even though they weren't students.

And that is illegal.

Yes, some people did get lured in and left the school when they realized it was a scam, only to get slammed by ICE for being here on illegitimate (at the time) student visas--and that part of the sting is wrong. But the college's recruiters and people who stayed on despite the scam? They knew what the score was, and played along, anyway, for their own selfish reasons.

ICE deserves much of the criticism it gets, but this is one occasion when it's not entirely warranted. Scams like this fake university go on all the time to provide a fig leaf of being here for a legit reason. It's not fair to the innocents who get lured in by these fake colleges, only to get ripped off. They pay good money to be in school here, and deserve to get the education they pay for, rather than used for some assholes to stay here on illegitimate visas.

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Response to Aquaria (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 01:36 PM

17. It still doesn't make sense

It’s not as if the US government is unable to audit student visas. The US government issues them and requires documentation about the schools in question. If there are patterns of abuse in that data, they can certainly figure that out without running a fake school.

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Response to jberryhill (Reply #17)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 07:36 PM

26. In such cases law enforcement must....

... demonstrate a predisposition and an intent to break the law. This is a lot easier when law enforcement is running the show.

From a law enforcement perspective, so called entrapment is an effective strategy for "conspiracy" crimes.

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Response to reACTIONary (Reply #26)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 07:54 PM

28. This could have gone very wrong


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Response to jberryhill (Reply #28)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 08:12 PM

30. You are right. nt

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Response to Aquaria (Reply #16)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 07:30 PM

24. Thanks for investigating further....

.... and did I mention... Welcome to DU

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Response to Aquaria (Reply #16)

Thu Nov 28, 2019, 10:12 PM

35. My issue is this. If you get a university falsely "accredited" and put it ...

... on the list of acceptable universities on the Department of Homeland Security Website, like ICE did the last time they pulled this, you're making it harder for legitimate students seeking a real university to know if it's fake or not.

If you want to put on the school's website that it's accredited, or that DHS approves it, that's one thing. A lot of fake universities not created by the feds put fake credentialing information on their websites.

But TWO accreditation groups and TWO states have been told by DHS to put these "fake universities" in their list of actually accredited programs and did it, which means even if a person had done their due diligence and checked with those accrediting authorities, they would not have known that there was a problem. The people reported many students who showed up and tried to get an education. They were told "classes would soon be held".

It's like the difference between buying cannabis on the street from an undercover cop and buying it from a "dispensary" on your state's list of approved dispensaries while having a medical card. If the "dispensary" is fake yet in the state's list of places you can legally buy pot, and the people who bought the pot all had approval from the state to buy it, that's far more like entrapment than buying from an undercover cop on the street when you know nobody buys pot like that legally.

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Response to Aquaria (Reply #16)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 08:08 AM

39. That answers my questions from upstream.

Thanks. That is useful info.

I was responding to snippits. If there was knowledge on the students part of the fraudulent nature of the school then there was the intent I was asking about.

There are indeed students who play the system and knowingly break the rules. Going after them makes some sense as long as care is taking to not take in students who err through ignorance or are actually fooled by the setup.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 01:55 PM

18. The "they should have known" argument isn't always applicable

It looks like students had a range of motivations and experiences. Complicating matters is the existence of various "practical training" programs that are legitimate and do not involve classroom study. Some students were told their academic work would be under the "Curricular Practical Training" program.

In the June 2017 email sent by Milani, the president of the fake university, Milani wrote to the Indian student: "In many instances, your prior Masters Degree’s (MA) credits, combined with CPT, can be applied to a second MA in lieu of a traditional course load."


Apparently some students seeking classes were being strung along:

After enrolling at the university, some of the students discovered there were no classes, said attorneys. But the university kept on telling the students that classes would soon be held.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 07:32 PM

25. Completely fake. And yet...

It was still a better school than Trump U.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 07:39 PM

27. Where did tuition money go? Obviously laws were broken, but an accounting seems to be in order

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 07:55 PM

29. Shameful. Evil. Cruel.

This is just plain evil. Shameful for all Americans, whether they realize it or not. These young folks are just trying to get an education to better themselves (you know, the old American dream) and we prey on their hopes and dreams in the most cruel way possible.

Convince them that they've been accepted, that their might be a way to better things in life, then smash them. Makes me so sick and furious.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Wed Nov 27, 2019, 08:44 PM

31. This is the craziest

Shit I have ever heard.
They made it look like a real school and told them that they were accredited and approved by Homeland security to accept international students. The worst entrapment ever.

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Thu Nov 28, 2019, 05:55 AM

32. I hope the attorneys win

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Response to caraher (Original post)

Sun Dec 1, 2019, 11:49 AM

36. This is sketchy from the start, I don't think this is one of those

“Good ideas that Trump corrupted”. This was dirty from day one.

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Response to hughee99 (Reply #36)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 04:19 AM

37. Terrorists do like to to come here on student visas and have done that before, correct?

So maybe that justified it in the beginning? But this seems to have developed another life separate from any purpose intended like that.

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Response to Captain Zero (Reply #37)

Mon Dec 2, 2019, 08:32 AM

40. This seems like a very big and expensive undertaking

In hopes that maybe they catch a small number of potential terrorists. I just don’t see this as a “things we’re fine until Trump came along” kind of issue.

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