US college scam: 30 Students return home following detention & arrests for others

At least 30 students, caught in the US immigration racket have returned to Andhra and Telangana following the arrests of others. Some have been detained in the ‘pay to stay’ scam uncovered earlier. The Telugu organisations working with the detained students said returning home was the safest option for them. Other eight students have been detained by the US authorities on the charges of committing visa fraud.

Over 129 students remained under administrative detention in the US after the scam was unveiled. They had enrolled themselves with a fake University of Farmington floated by the US authorities under a sting operation. Among the 600 foreign students who had applied to the university, about 90% were Indians and out of that 80 % were from Andhra and Telangana.

ALSO READ: Indian students arrested for ‘pay-and-stay’ scam ‘aware of their crime’: US

“To stay in the US and work, they took admission in this university for another MS as it lured the students with the offer that they need not attend the classes,” said Buchiram Kalapatapu, chief coordinator, Andhra Pradesh Non-Resident Telugu (APNRT) Society.

The university was offering online courses without having a physical presence. Some of the students had migrated to another university were safe but had no other option than to return home. The ‘students’ have been given an assurance that they wouldn’t face any problems finding jobs in India as they had completed their MS from other universities.

Earlier it was noted that the students who had enrolled in the fake university had no intention of engaging in fraud and hence they would only face deportation. Later, it came to light that the students had taken loans and paid the enormous fee of $20,000-$25,000 for enrollment. They were keen to stay in the US and get work to pay off their loans.

APNRT is coordinating with the Indian Embassy to provide legal help to the eight students who are still stuck. They worked as recruiters and have been provided, attorneys. The chances are in favour as one of them has already got bail and now the society is working towards making sure others get released soon.

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