19 students, caught in US immigration fraud, permitted to return
Nineteen Telugu students who had enrolled with Farmington University, a fake institution floated by the federal police in Michigan, US, to expose a “pay-to-stay” racket, have been granted permission for voluntary departure to India by a local court.Updated: Feb 14, 2019 00:08 IST
Nineteen Telugu students who had enrolled with Farmington University, a fake institution floated by the federal police in Michigan, US, to expose a “pay-to-stay” racket, have been granted permission for voluntary departure to India by a local court.
In all, 20 students have been under detention at two centres – 12 at Callahan County detention centre and eight at Michigan Monroe detention centre -- since January 31. Of the 20, three students – two Telugus and a Palestinian -- got the departure permission last Saturday. The remaining 17, all Telugus, were granted the permission by a Michigan court on Tuesday.
According to Venkat Manthena, a representative of the American Telangana Association (ATA-Telangana), one of the Telugu students who was married to a US citizen wanted to stay back and argue his own case, while another student was allowed to leave for India, but under the “US government removal” order. All the remaining students were granted permission to leave the US voluntarily.
There are another 100 Telugu students held up at 30 other detention centres who are still awaiting court orders. “Some have come out of the detention centres on bail bond and others are in the process of getting the same. If the courts in their respective states grant permission for voluntary departure, they can come back to India. It all depends on the intensity of the charges against them and the discretion of the judges,” AP Non-Resident Telugus (APNRT) Society coordinator Sagar Doddapaneni said.
The students who have got voluntary departure permission have to leave for India through identified routes as directed by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities, who would make arrangements for taking them to the airport.
“Though the students were given time till February 26, they are getting ready to return to India as early as possible. If they complete the paper work fast, the first batch of students might leave the US by this weekend,” Doddapaneni said.
ATA-Telangana representatives who met Elissa Slotkin, a Congress representative from Michigan, last Friday, have requested that the students get necessary help, by law, so they can leave the country.