Phony ICE-Run University Trap Continues Unabated (Video)

We decided centuries ago an educated populace is vital to maintaining a civilized, productive society.

When it comes to Democracy, none other than Thomas Jefferson said:

“An educated citizenry is a vital requisite for our survival as a free people.”

Although imperfect–and expensive–our colleges and universities are among some of the world’s best.

People come from all over the globe to obtain degrees from American institutions.

Many stay here to implement what they were taught, investing in our country’s intellectual and economic capital. Some return to their homes to help use their knowledge to improve their fellow citizens’ lives.

We praise people for seeking out opportunities to learn because education is empowering.

For every dollar we spend on a student’s education, we receive a seven-fold return on investment.

Obtaining an education is hardly the worst thing someone can do.

The U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) knows this.

It also knows the F-1 visa program allows foreign students to work in this country with student visas.

That’s why it created a phony university in the Farmington Hills suburb of Detroit promising technology and computer graduate studies to entice undocumented immigrants who thought they were simply abiding by our expectations.

Since January, Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested 250 foreign students enrolled in the “University of Farmington.”

Despite staffing the “college” with undercover agents and presenting a link to it on the DHS website and on the site of an accreditation agency, ICE is claiming recruiters and prospective immigrant students were aware it was fraudulent since they were never required to complete any coursework and the school did not actually employ teachers nor maintain curriculum, classes, or educational activities.

Texas-based attorney defending some of the 250 arrested, Rahul Reddy, told the Detroit Free Press:

“[DHS] trapped the vulnerable people who just wanted to maintain (legal immigration) status. They preyed on them.”

Reddy added the U.S. government  “made a lot of money,” about $12,000 a year, off tuition and fees.

As the Detroit Free Press reported:

“Some had transferred to the University of Farmington from other schools that had lost accreditation, which means they would no longer be in immigration status and allowed to remain in the U.S.”

Although ICE has been operating with virtual impunity since Donald Trump took office, its college trap scheme actually began in 2013.

Established in 2016, the “University of Northern New Jersey” promised that for $4,500 a semester, students could remain in the U.S.

At the time the story broke about it in April that year, 21 brokers and middlemen had been indicted for conspiracy to commit visa fraud.

Eight recruiters were indicted this January for preying on at least 600 immigrant students.

According to the Detroit Free Press, no one has filed a lawsuit or claim against the U.S. government.

Donald Trump is on a mission to erase the legacy of the country’s first African American president.

Ironically, he will take credit for positive gains in the economy and culture without acknowledging Obama’s hand in them.

But when it comes to something embarrassing, exploitative, and/or inhumane, such as this, instead of working to correct it, Trump just blames it on Obama and doubles down.

Trump could easily have reigned-in ICE and put a stop to this, but that would contradict his Draconian immigration policy.

In the two and half years since Trump promised his Gestapo deportation force, ICE has started using DNA testing technology to identify migrants posing as families in order to gain entry to the United States at seven locations along the U.S./Mexico Southern border.

It is been mining without warrants or subpoenas millions of Utah, New York, Vermont, and Washington drivers’ license photos for possible facial recognition matches in an attempt to ensnare undocumented immigrants.

It has stalked immigrants in human trafficking court.

It has led to several asylum seekers’ deaths in its custody.

It and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) have been responsible for harassing journalists, lawyers, and activists for meeting with or aiding asylum seekers from the Honduran caravan on the Mexican side of the border.

It has led to the death of a Salvadoran transgender woman.

It has perpetrated what democratic presidential candidates have cited as kidnapping in its separation of children from their parents.

It is guilty of running concentration camps where prisoners are held in horrific conditions without being charged for crimes and in which what the president of the American Academy of Pediatrics describes as tantamount to “government-sanctioned child abuse” where incarcerated children are being injected with psychotropic drugs that inflict dizziness, lethargy, and sometimes incapacitation.

In October, the New York Times reported a livid Donald Trump lashing out over aides trying to talk him out of shutting down the 2,000-mile US border with Mexico in a single day by alternately suggesting fortifying his racist wall with a snake- or alligator-infested moat.

Since it appears as though it can’t be reformed, we must abolish ICE, as New York Congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand demand.

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Ted Millar is writer and teacher. His work has been featured in myriad literary journals, including Better Than Starbucks, The Broke Bohemian, Straight Forward Poetry, Caesura, Circle Show, Cactus Heart, Third Wednesday, and The Voices Project. He is also a contributor to The Left Place blog on Substack, and Medium.