Many of you are aware of the past issues from fake universities such as Trivalley State University, University of Northern New Jersey that impacted many hundreds of F1 students. On the same lines, earlier today ICE arrested many F1 foreign students in multiple cities, who all were attending a fake school created by federal agents called “University of Farmington”, which is based out of Michigan. Below is the news summary. This is developing news and we will update as we have more info.
News Summary – F1 CPT Students of University of Farmington Arrested by ICE
- Arrests of Day 1 CPT Students : ICE performed an undercover operation and arrested many F1 students attending fake University created by the agents called “University of Farmington” in Michigan, who were using Day 1 CPT. If you dont know what CPT(Curricular Practical Training) is, check F1 Student – CPT vs OPT
- Why Arrested : The key reason for arrests is that all of these F1 Students were using the fraudulent Day 1 CPT provided by the fake University, which let them work without attending any classes. Good number of the students arrested were doing their second masters and using Day 1 CPT full time, which is not typically allowed. In general, All the basic rules of CPT applies for second masters CPT as well and you are not allowed to do CPT from Day 1. Read Day 1 CPT Rules for Second Masters
- Where arrested, which cities : Many of these students were arrested in multiple cities, such as Houston – Texas, Tampa – Florida, St Louis – Missouri, Charlotte – North Carolina, Atlanta – Georgia, New York, New Jersey, etc. Some of them were arrested at the employers location.
- How many were arrested : It is reported that dozens of students were arrested across all these cities. We do not have an official number out yet.
- Why University of Farmington is Fake : The University of Farmington had no staff, no classes, no curriculum as well and was a completely fake university created by federal agents to find the immigration fraud people…it was a bait to trap the fraud players.
- What is the Overall Impact : In total, the impact is for about 600 Foreign students, with many of them being Indian Students and about 8 student recruiters.
- What did student recruiters do : These 8 student recruiters were admission agents, who were assisting students to get admission and helping them to get Day 1 CPT, which is part of the immigration fraud. Most of the admission agents are from India. These fraud agents were helping these students get fake transcripts for H1B applications, visa stampings, student records as needed.
- How much were Fraud Recruiters Paid : Many of these agents collected large sums of money, which is about $250,000 USD, as commissions, kickbacks for recruiting students. It is reported one of them collected 20,000 USD in June 2018 as per indictment.
- When was the University Started, Status : The University of Farmington was started in 2015 as part of the undercover operation similar to what was done at University of Northern New Jersey, where 21 people were charged. The University of Farmington was framed to look like a real school with all the fancy things like Facebook page, events, decent website, etc. Only those attending knew that there were no classes and they were using it as a program to work on Day 1 CPT.
- How was the sting operation executed : Federal Agents submitted to US District Court with formal proof in a sealed envelope and got all the formal Indictment to arrest them. It was done on Jan 15th, 2019 and the operation was planned well and executed by them. Below is the court indictment with date of 1/15/2019.
- You can also watch below video that summarizes the above arrests.
What is the impact for F1 Students doing Day 1 CPT at University of Farmington ?
Unlike degree mills, the fundamental issue with University of Farmington school is that, it is fully fake and there were no classes. In the past, when University was committing fraud by giving day 1 CPT, but conducting classes to shell out degree as degree mill, there were options given to students to transfer, etc…but with University of Farmington, it is a totally different case…The onus is on the students as well as there were no classes attended. The students were doing wrong by not going to classes…so the outcome for these students would not be good and they would go through removal proceedings and very likely be deported.
What should I do, if I am a Day 1 CPT Student at University of Farmington ?
Firstly, you need to speak to an immigration attorney and take swift action to leave country. The F1 Unlawful Status Memo that was effective from August 9th, 2018 for counting accrual of unlawful presence will touch 180 days on Feb 5, 2019. If you hit 180 days of unlawful presence, then you are subject to a 3-year bar to enter US and cannot enter America in any visa for 3 years. So, you should plan to leave the country as soon as you can, by talking to a qualified immigration attorney.
Overall, never pursue anything that is illegal as a student or professional in US, it can have very bad implications for your future in US. In current context, to clarify, not all CPTs are bad, they are bad, only if you see some or all of the below red flags.
What are the Red Flags for Day 1 CPT Programs offered by Schools to Classify as Fraud ?
- In general, most of the reputed schools offers CPT after you attended University for two semesters. If a University Offers CPT from Day 1, then something is fishy, you need to double check everything to make sure, there is no fraud.
- If the school that gives CPT, allows you not to attend any classes and work full time, then it is fraud
- If you are working with an agent and they are promising many things and charging you money for doing Day 1 CPT without attending school fully, then it is fraud
- If you are able to take all online classes only to get degree and work full time on CPT from day 1, then it is fraud.
- If you are doing your Second Masters and getting CPT from day 1, then something is wrong…
Above are some of the fraud indicators, you need to visit the school, attend classes and ensure everything is correct. If something is too good to be true, then it is not true…so do not fall in trap and engage in such things….below are references to news articles and tweets.
What are your thoughts ?
ALERT: A federal spokesman just told me dozens of students from the fake University of Farmington have been arrested on immigration violation charges during a nationwide sweep. The students face possible deportation https://t.co/ooG7QoHcO5 via @detroitnews
— Robert Snell (@robertsnellnews) January 31, 2019
The Michigan university federal agents used in immigration crackdown had an office building and a web site but was otherwise a complete fiction pic.twitter.com/mm6rgQng3R
— Robert Snell (@robertsnellnews) January 30, 2019