Federal agents have arrested 21 brokers, employers, and recruiters involved in fraudulently maintaining student visas and obtaining student worker visas over the past 2 ½ years through the fake University of Northern New Jersey (UNNJ), set up by Homeland Security.
Homeland Security created this fake university and collaborated with The State Department, The FBI, Immigration and Customs, and state-level Education and Transportation offices in order to entrap operators and bust a major and on going education and foreign worker visa scam. UNNJ operated as a storefront location of small offices staffed by Federal Agents posing as university administrators and representing itself as a school that was authorized to I-20’s, a document certifying that a foreign national has been accepted to a school as a full time student, and thus enabling legitimate foreign students to obtain an F-1 student visa.
More than 1,000 foreign nationals, mostly from China and India, were identified as individuals who willingly collaborated with the defendants to fraudulently maintain their nonimmigrant status in the US on the false pretense that they continued to attend UNNJ on a full time basis. The defendants worked with undercover agents and fully acknowledged the fact that none of their “student” clients would actually attend any courses, or work towards any legitimate degree but would still be enrolled in the university in exchange for commission.
In order to maintain their cover, the defendants created hundreds of false student records to be purchased by their foreign nationals and the undercover agents were paid thousands of dollars to sign documents as administrators and place the schools letter head on sham documents in order to obtain work visas for their clients. The defendants were then able to outsource the “students” to various companies for additional commission.
Now that the scheme has been uncovered, the 1,000 foreign nationals that were being exploited by the defendants will be deported, while the defendants face major legal trouble.
By administering this successful sting, the US has started the process of cracking down on those who seek to abuse the US immigration system and exploit the aspirations of individuals by luring them into shortcuts to staying in the US.