U.S. Government Creates Fake University to Stop Student Visa Fraud

The government has arrested and charged 21 people with conspiring to commit visa fraud.

Adriana Lozano

Adriana Lozano

Feature Writer at RYSE
Adriana Lozano is a creative type with a passion for writing, fashion, traveling and art (not necessarily in that order). She is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in English in hopes to become a published writer and author.
Adriana Lozano

Over the past decade, brokers, consultants, and employers from across the country have turned to creating or working with fake universities in order to financially benefit off of foreign students who are committing visa fraud. Most immigrants are aware of the strict guidelines which allow for visa approval, and therefore know allow the fear of rejection hinder them from continuing with the visa process legally. Most of the immigrants aren’t actually trying to get an American education, but rather seek to earn American dollars in order to comfortably raise their families back at home. Many immigrants are also posing as students in these fake universities who then work with a broker to help them obtain their student visa (which allows for them to work in the country as long as they’re attending a university) and desperately join the workforce.

The U.S. government had caught wind of this illegal loophole and decided to take matters into their own hands and investigate: who is creating the fake universities, who is dealing with the immigrants and enabling the visa fraud, how are they benefitting from this and also how have they gotten away with it for so long? The government decided to create a fake university of its own so they could deal with the crooked brokers, employers, and immigrants posing as students who are all working together in this extremely illegal underground business.

Source via abcnews.go.com

Source via abcnews.go.com

BuzzFeed News first reported the issue and went into detail about the U.S. government’s clever scheme to catch those involved and put an end to visa fraud, stating:

“The University of Northern New Jersey had a central office in Camden, a seal imprinted with Latin, and a president, Dr. Steven Brunetti, who was known to students as “Dr. B.” More than 1,000 foreigners came through its doors since it was opened in 2013, all of them holding visas to study in the United States. The university even had a vibrant Facebook page, where foreign students posed in front of the UNNJ logo wearing T-shirts that advertised the school mascot, the Badger. What UNNJ didn’t have, however, was a faculty, classrooms, or curriculum. The school was a scam, a fake college created to enable foreign nationals to work in the United States without ever attending class or turning in a piece of homework. And it was a scam run by the U.S. government…the first fake university to be owned and operated by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement — part of an elaborate multiyear sting operation designed to catch a network of student visa fraudsters.”

From this setup, the government was able to arrest 21 people as of late Tuesday, charging them with conspiring to commit visa fraud. No students were charged yet but all will appear in immigration court where they will evidently have all of their visas revoked. According to government officials, most of these students came from India and China.



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