Fake ICE University ... a thread.
This entire scenario is a grotesque perversion of all that is right & just. I represented one of the students. They had scrupulously done everything to remain in lawful status at two prior legitimate universities. 1/https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/ ... 277686002/
On the word of a friend, this client enrolled at Farmington U in order to continue their studies while also working legally. They were told the school offered online learning, flexible schedules, and reasonable (though hardly cheap) tuition. 2/
The bottom of every form from the University of Farmington included this language: “A nationally accredited institution authorized to enroll international students by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security.”
Not especially ambiguous nor subtle. /3
My client applied, was accepted, paid tuition, and the waited for specifics about class schedules. Days became weeks. Weeks became months. /4
And then, BOOM! Early one morning, this tiny person with advanced technical degrees and no other record of misconduct was arrested. Cuffed. Jailed. Cut off from their home. Denied access to their belongings. /5
Relatives here and abroad rallied. They engaged us. We put a huge packet together in support of bond. Maybe this person’s status could be reinstated at another school. Maybe they could just get their finances in order and leave. /6
But, we drew a hyper-zealous government attorney who went after my client as if they were a mass murderer or terrorist. Even through videoconferencing, my client’s tears were visible. Even in the worst possible light under these facts, my client didn’t deserve that. /7
The immigration judge - an genial but conservative type - thanked us for a compelling presentation, then denied bond. We paused, regrouped, and eventually asked for Voluntary Departure. After a second contested hearing, the judge granted that “relief”. /8
I have practiced law for 26+ years, focusing on immigration law for the past 21+. I’ve been witness to all manner of malfeasance & injustice, but in terms of sheer vile chutzpadik entrapment, this takes the cake. /9
My client came to this country to pursue higher education and professional opportunity. Having acquired valuable skills which we desperately need to compete globally, they should have had a viable path towards an employment-based visa. /10
Instead, thanks to artificial and arbitrary visa caps (what happened to the free market?), they extended their student status, duped by an overzealous immigration enforcement machine which isn’t satisfied with apprehending clear immigration violators. /11
No, certain powers-that-be decided that setting up a FAKE UNIVERSITY to manufacture immigration violations which may otherwise never have occurred is somehow okay. Hundreds of lives have been shattered, but perhaps there’s another, more nefarious agenda: /12
By sowing doubt as to the legitimacy of seemingly reputable universities, ICE continues its shadow war on legal immigration. International student enrollment has dropped. This is one reason why. /13
This entire practice is unconscionable, which makes sense as they seem to be promoted by forces which lack any conscience.
Also, one other question: what became of the millions of illegally appropriated tuition payments. Sure would like an answer to that one. /14
Since modest interest has developed in this tale, here is a redacted version of the fake ICE university’s application form ...