The federal government has been tracking illegal immigration through our borders as well as visa scams overseas for years now. The most recent uncovering was achieved through a federal sting operation through a college website orchestrated by the government in order to uncover a net of illicit visa programs.
The website in question is University of Northern New Jersey’s website, featuring everything from tuition costs, seven undergraduate and nine graduate programs, a Facebook page, locations, and even spring break hours.
The website and Facebook page were immediately taken down after the sting operation caught and arrested twenty-one people for allegedly conspiring with over one thousand foreigners to fraudulently maintain student visas and obtain worker visas.
The arrested individuals have been identified as “brokers,” who contacted the federal agents posing as college administrators offering them to join in on their scheme. The brokers would have recruited foreign students to “enroll” in the college, creating false transcripts and allow them to keep their student visas even without attending the college.
Most immigrants are from China and India, and had previously come into the states with legal student visas to attend other, legitimate colleges. Presumably, they would have been sent back once their term ended, yet these schemes would allow them to remain in the country for other purposes without having to study.
Alongside their student visa scam, the brokers were also creating false employment contracts between schools and foreign nationals to grant them work visas and likewise keep them in the country.
Although the 1,000 foreign students have not been arrested, their visas will be terminated and they will likely have to leave the country. About 1.2 million foreigners come into the U.S. on student visas, with New York University currently hosting 13,800 alone, far more than any other college in the country.
Fortunately, those arrested and charged on Tuesday are amongst the system’s most egregious violators, so the rate of fraud should decrease were they to be detained.