US lawmakers ask govt to treat students held in visa fraud fairly

Wednesday 13th February 2019 01:55 EST

Washington: A group of eminent American lawmakers has asked authorities to facilitate consular access to Indians held for enrolling in a fake university allegedly to remain in the US, and to treat them fairly and humanely after the community raised concerns over the manner they were detained. In multiple raids last month, authorities arrested 129 Indians and a Palestinian enrolled as students in the fraudulent university.

The Farmington University was set up by the DHS’s investigating unit in Greater Detroit area to bust the “pay-and-stay” racket. While immigration attorneys claimed the students knew nothing about the varsity’s illegal operation, the US state department said they were aware that they were committing a crime to fraudulently remain in the country.

In a letter, the lawmakers led by Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi urged the department of homeland security and US immigration and customs enforcement to ensure students detained were afforded all rights provided to them under law, including access to an attorney and release on bond for those eligible. The letter also asked the DHS and the ICE to share full details and regular updates regarding the Indian students with the embassy and consulates of India, and to facilitate consular access for the detainees.

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