India issues 'demarche' to American Embassy on detention of Indian students

03 February, 2019, 19:54 | Author: Clarence Schmidt
  • India committed to economic reconstruction of Afghanistan Sushma Swaraj

Meanwhile, the Indian government has requested the US Department of Homeland Security to send a list of all the Indian students who were detained in the fiasco and a list of those who were involved in the process of recruiting and enrolling the students.

More than 600 Indian students were detained by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency after a university scam came to light on Wednesday. "WION has accessed the court documents in which it has been mentioned that each of the foreign citizens who "enrolled" and made "tuition" payments to the University knew that they would not attend any actual classes, earn credits, or make academic progress toward an actual degree in a particular field of study - a "pay to stay" scheme", clearly suggesting they are also considered culpable by USA authorities.

In a surprising case of Indian students getting arrested in US under the alleged 'immigration scam, ' the External Affairs Ministry under Sushma Swaraj has said that 'it's their top priority to get the students back to India under any circumstances'.

"So far, about 30 Indian students have been contacted by our consular officers".

Adding that the "weight of the government of India" is behind the detained students, Mr Shringla said that the embassy officials have been travelling across the U.S. and meeting students at the detention centres since the matter was first reported.

The Indian Ministry of External Affairs said in a statement on Saturday that it has been in contact with U.S. officials and has expressed concern for the detained students.

According to the federal indictment, a copy of which is available with Telangana Today, 'beginning in 2015, the university was part of a federal law enforcement undercover operation created to identify recruiters and entities engaged in immigration fraud.

The Department of Homeland Security set up a fake university, targeting foreigners looking for a way to stay in the United States. "By Monday we will have access to nearly all our students", Mr Shringla said. It had been operated by Homeland Security for the past three years.

It said that for those seeking legal help, guidance and assistance is being provided by the Indian mission and consulates and assistance from the Indian community has also been mobilised to provide legal support to those who seek.

The American Telugu Association, in a statement on its Facebook page, said the affected students and their friends alerted them about the arrests. "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", Steve Francis, the Homeland Security Investigations (HSI) special agent in charge, said in the statement.

A website for the University of Farmington showed pictures of students in classes and libraries, or relaxing around a grassy campus.

"The government utilized very questionable and troubling methods to get these foreign students to join the institution", Ravi Mannam, an immigration lawyer in Atlanta, told The New York Times. It held no classes and collected a nominal fee from students and gave them "curricular practical training" after their enrolment, providing temporary authorisation for practical training related to their study or to work.



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