Some New Jersey residents are still reeling over the news that Immigration and Customs Enforcement created a fake school for the purpose of deporting as many foreign students as they could. In the process, they robbed and deported hundreds of college-bound immigrants.
The university that only existed to deport
This faux school in question was dubbed the University of Farmington. In the end, the amount taken from these students in tuition and other fees totaled up to $6 million.
It wasn’t hard to fall for this immigration scam. The college looked legitimate and would have passed a fairly thorough inspection by any reasonable person.
Among the claims made in the school’s advertisements were that it included more than 20 programs for graduates and undergraduates, that they were fully accredited and had the authority to enroll foreign students. They also boasted that 98% of their graduates went on to work in the field that they studied. Part of the sham even included creating a fake history of the school that went back to the 1950s.
In addition to the money that ICE took from these students, the bigger problem for many of them became the revocation of their status as an immigrant, leaving them in a highly precarious situation. In some cases, they were detained. Other times, authorities went straight for deportation.
A special branch of ICE was in charge of setting up Farmington University. The organization’s official statement is that this was done as part of their investigation into an intricate plot involving fraud and the student visa system.
Was what ICE did legal?
While it may come as a surprise to few, it’s still just as shocking to many when this kind of news breaks officially. Numerous civil rights groups have expressed their outrage and want to know why this was allowed to happen.
Opponents to ICE’s actions have called it entrapment and question the legality of the organization’s actions. All but one of the students who were affected by this scheme were Indian, leaving many to question the racial biases going on behind the scenes. It’s a harrowing story involving damage that cannot be undone.