Indian embassy opens 24/7 hotline to help 129 students detained by US authorities

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WASHINGTION: Government officials on Friday said that a 24/7 hotline has been opened up by the Indian embassy in the US to provide all necessary legal aid 129 Indian students arrested in the US in connection with the “pay-and-stay” university visa scam.

It is to be noted that the US authorities have arrested 129 Indians for enrolling at a fake university allegedly to remain in the US illegally.

The Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has set up a university in Detroit’s Farmington Hills as part of an undercover operation to expose immigration fraud, PTI reported. The charges in the case was announced by federal prosecutors.

Senior embassy officials would man the two hotline numbers – 202-322-1190 and 202-340-2590.

The arrested students, their friends and family members can contact the embassy at [email protected]

A nodal officer has been appointed by the Indian embassy to handle and coordinate all issues related to helping Indian students arrested by the US authorities.

The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE had arrested 130 students from the fake Farmington University in Greater Detroit area till Thursday. According to federal investigators, all these students knew the university programme was illegal and despite this, they took admission only to stay in the US.

All these students now face deportation. According to PTI, some of the students have been put under house arrest with tracking device on their ankle.

“These suspects aided hundreds of foreign nationals to remain in the United States illegally by helping to portray them as students, which they most certainly were not. HSI remains vigilant to ensure the integrity of US immigration laws and will continue to investigate this and other transnational crimes,” Special Agent Charge Francis was quoted as saying by PTI.

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