Washington: As many as 306 Indian students who unknowingly came to the US as part of a fake university sting operation conducted by law enforcement agencies to expose a visa scam, have been identified and located and the process has started for their deportation, officials said here.
"The 306 individuals from India who were purported students at the University of Northern New Jersey have been identified, located and placed in the immigration process for removal in accordance to proper due process," Alvin Phillips, spokesman USICE Homeland Security Investigations told PTI.
Ten Indian-Americans are among 21 people arrested as part of a sting operation in which a fake university was created by US authorities to expose a visa scam that allowed more than 1,000 foreigners to maintain student and work visas.
The arrested people were brokers, recruiters and employers who unlawfully and fraudulently obtained or attempted to obtain student visas and foreign worker visas for approximately 1,000 foreign nationals from 26 countries.
It is learnt that a large number of students who received necessary visa and permits to work in the US as a result of the sting operation for which they reportedly paid huge sums of money are from India.
These people arrested for their involvement in an alleged scheme to enrol foreign nationals as students in the University of Northern New Jersey, a purported for-profit college located in Cranford, New Jersey (UNNJ).
Unbeknownst to the defendants and the foreign nationals they conspired with, the UNNJ was created in September 2013 by special agents of Homeland Security Investigations (HSI).
The HSI sting investigation was carried out to unearth the unauthorised networks and educational institutions that are "nothing more than sham visa mills," officials said, adding that these educational institutions have no curriculum, no classes, no instructors and no real students.