Graduating from high school and entering that next step in your life is one of the most exciting periods in a person's life. Some embark on the job market and others begin their college experience. Many kids are carrying their families on their backs as first-generation college students. Universities are seeing more and more first-generation students each year, many coming from immigrant families trying to build a better life for their children.

Photo by javier trueba on Unsplash
Photo by javier trueba on Unsplash
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So imagine one of these students were to apply to a university they believed was real, only to find out there were no classes, no teachers, and ended up not even being a real university, instead being a front for a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) sting operation? Welcome to the University of Farmington.

 

University of Farmington

Located in Farmington, Michigan, just outside of Detroit, the University of Farmington was a university that encouraged immigrant students to apply. According to The Guardian,

"Farmington provided international students who had finished their studies at other schools with the documents needed to maintain their student visas, without making them go to classes – also known as a visa mill."

 

Recruiters were encouraged to seek out immigrants whose visas were expired/ing and had them enroll in the school, with their tuition serving as payment for the visa. This exchange is illegal.

 

READ MORE: What Happened To Michigan's One-Room Schoolhouses?

 

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However, recruiters were shocked when 8 of them were indicted in 2019 after learning the university, aka their employer, was entirely operated by the Department of Homeland Security / Immigration Customs Enforcement to expose visa mills. The government considered the operation a success, but many believe the operation served to punish people who were unaware of the visa scheme when applying.

 

Passports To Be Required Next Week For Travel Outside U.S
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While ICE asserts that most who applied were aware, the U.S. Court of Appeals has approved former students to sue after they were not refunded their tuition after being promised an education at the school despite having no teachers or classes.

 

It's a pretty sticky situation overall and opening a fake school is a rather suspicious move.

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