Twenty-one people were arrested Tuesday for allegedly conspiring with 1,000 foreigners to fraudulently maintain student visas and obtain worker visas. The arrested individuals fell into a trap set by Federal Agents in the form of a phony college known as the University of Northern New Jersey. The fake school had a full website set up that included tuition cost details and seven different undergraduate and nine graduate degree programs. It also had a bogus Facebook page with posts about spring break operating hours and expansion plans to other New Jersey towns. Federal agents went to great lengths with the phony University to lure in “brokers” who solicited the Federal Agents posing as the university’s administrators.
The brokers recruited foreign students to “enroll” and allegedly created false student transcripts and diplomas so that they could fool immigration authorities and keep their student visas, officials said. Most were from China and India and had previously entered the U.S. on legal student visas to attend a different, legitimate school. In some instances, the brokers are also accused of creating false employment contracts between the school and the foreign nationals so that they could fraudulently obtain worker visas. They paid the undercover agents thousands of dollars to put the school’s letterhead on phony documents.
The 1,000 foreign “students” have not been arrested, but their visas will be terminated and they will likely be subject to deportation according to officials. About 1.2 million foreigners are currently in the U.S. on legal student visas, according to the Department of Homeland Security. Most come from Asia and are enrolled in Bachelor’s or Master’s programs. This latest operation by the Feds demonstrates just how widespread the flaws and abuses are within the current Visa Program.