The Government of India has continued to closely monitor the detention of Indian students who were allegedly enrolled in a fraudulent university in the US and has obtained consular access to 117 of the 129 Indian students.
"According to US Government statistics, 129 Indian nationals had been administratively arrested as on January 31 in connection with their enrollment at the ‘university’. As on date, our Embassy and Consulates have obtained consular access to the 117 of them, by proactively visiting 36 different detention sites through the length and breadth of the country. Consular access to the remaining students, estimated at about a dozen, are continuing, including through the 24/7 helpline set up by the Embassy and outreach to the community," the Ministry of External Affairs said in a press release.
"We remain in touch with the US authorities, both at the federal and local level, to ensure and satisfy ourselves about the humane and dignified treatment of the Indian students and custom-sensitive dietary and living arrangement for them during the period of their detention," the MEA said.
The ministry statement came after a US State Department spokesperson said, “All participants in this scheme knew that the University of Farmington had no instructors or classes (neither nor in-person) and were aware they were committing a crime in an attempt to fraudulently remain in the United States."
"It is unfortunate that some student recruiters and individuals seek to use the international student programme to foster illegal immigration status in the United States," the State Department added.
Assistance is being extended to the Indian students in obtaining legal advice and connecting them to community support services. India continues to attach high priority to the well-being of the detained students and will remain constantly engaged with the US authorities and other stakeholders to address the issue.
The university in Detroit's Farmington Hills was part of an undercover operation by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) designed to expose immigration fraud, according to federal prosecutors who announced charges in the case.