Recently, a grotesque incidence of the mass arrest of Indian students in the USA came to limelight. As per the initial reports around 129 Indians have been incarcerated for allegedly enrolling in a fake university to remain in the US by illegal means.

Following the ruckus, the Indian embassy in the US has opened a 24/7 helpline to assist the arrested Indian students in the “pay-and-stay” university visa scam in America.

While the detained individuals proclaimed that they knew nothing about the fraud university, the latest report of the State Department of the US stated that each arrested student was aware of the fact that they were committing a crime to remain in the US fraudulently.

A brief insight into the case in an encapsulation

As per the claims of the Department of Homeland Security, it booted up a trap to curb the illegal international students residing in the country by setting a fake university in Farmington Hills and monitoring the immigration fraud.

The fake website made be the University of Farmington

According to the Department of Homeland Security, the University in Farmington Hill was an undercover blitz to expose the recruiters and entities indulged in immigration frauds prevailing in the country. Soon, it arrested eight student recruiters over the charges of partaking in connivance to accommodate at least 600 foreign students in the country illegally.

Apart from it, 130 foreign students have been arrested by the American authorities for taking admission in the fake university, reportedly 129 of them are Indians. The federal Investigators of America furthered uptick and said that the students who took admission in the fake university knew that the University was fraudulent, but they deliberately took admission in the university to illegally stay in America.

The American authorities have further proclaimed that all of the culprit students will face deportation, besides being put under detention. Reportedly, a legion of students has been placed under house arrest with tracking devices on their ankle to prohibit them from escaping the designated area in their neighborhood.

Moreover, it is stipulated that the number of such students is to increase further as the authorities have been undertaking a stringent drive to expose more Indian students enrolled in this fake university while working at different places.

Indian Embassy’s response to the mass arrest

The mass arrest of the Indian students caused wreak havoc among the Indian students, and subsequently, the Indian embassy plunged into action and opened a 24/7 helpline to assist the affected students in the University scam. The senior officials of the Indian embassy are maintaining the two helpline numbers – 202-322-1190 and 202-340-2590 round the clock to help the affected students.

HSI agents in one of the accused Indian’s US residence to arrest him.

The Indian immigration attorneys have lampooned the American authorities for using troubling methods to trap the students who didn’t know about the varsity’s illegal operation. Various eminent Indian-Americans and social media outlets in the USA,
also flaked the authorities for the Modus Operandi undertaken by the government to trap the students.

Indian embassy has also delegated a nodal officer to coordinate and handle all the issues related to helping all the students busted in the pay and stay University Scam.

Apart from it, the Indian embassy also made a demarche to the Embassy of the United States and asked for consular access for Indian officials to the Indian detainees. The Indian embassy further nudged the American authorities to release the detained students at the earliest. Moreover, the Indian embassy underlined that the students who might have been duped in the process should be treated differently from the student recruiters who have deceived the students. The Indian embassy has also stressed that the students should not be deported against their will.

Latest updates in the Imbroglio

While the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) are resolute on its stand to deport the alleged students in the pay and stay scam, the Indian embassy is steadily trying to settle the imbroglio and help the Indian students.

The Indian consulate in America is working hand in glove with the Indian embassy and have been trying to meet and assist the Indian students detained in the Scam. According to the Indian External Affairs Ministry, the Indian consulate has already reached around 30 arrested Indian students and have also helped to release some of them. Further, it has asserted that all the students will be contacted soon and consequently, many Indian community organizations have been mobilized to extend all the possible support to the affected students.

Sources: Times of India, NDTV

Image Sources: Dailyhunt, BBC, Deccan Chronicle

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