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Report: 250 students arrested by ICE after sting at fake metro Detroit university 

By: - November 27, 2019 1:44 pm
Immigration and Customs Enformcement

U.S. Air Force photo | Staff Sgt. Andrew Satran

About 250 students of a fake university in Farmington Hills have been arrested by U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) since January as part of a sting operation. 

According to the Detroit Free Press, the University of Farmington was created by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to entice foreign-born students and take away their immigration status they obtained through student visas. 

The university was shut down in January after it was uncovered to have been created by federal agents and staffed with undercover agents posing as university officials. When the university shut down, the students lost their immigration status.

According to ICE, 161 students had been arrested in March, which has now increased to about 250 students.

Seven of the eight recruiters who were criminally charged for trying to recruit students have pleaded guilty and have been sentenced in Detroit.  The latest recruiter to be charged is Prem Rampeesa, who was sentenced last week. The remaining recruiter is scheduled to be sentenced in January. 

There were more than 600 students enrolled at the university and was started in 2016, according to LARA records. The fake university is believed to have collected millions of dollars through students’ tuition. According to the university’s president, Ali Milani, tuition for the graduate programs was $2,500 per quarter and the average cost was $1,000 per month.

The Free Press reports that no one has filed a lawsuit or claim against the U.S. government for collecting the money or allegedly entrapping the students.

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Allison R. Donahue
Allison R. Donahue

Allison R. Donahue covers education, women's issues and LGBTQ issues. Previously, she was a suburbs reporter at the St. Cloud Times in St. Cloud, Minn., covering local education and government. As a graduate of Grand Valley State University, she has previous experience as a freelance researcher for USA Today and an intern with WOOD TV-8. When she is away from her desk, she spends her time going to concerts, comedy shows or getting lost on hikes in different places around the world.