Bowles: ICE cruelty knows no limit


U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons

ICE has become unbelievably cruel, and for me, this scheme crossed the line.

Luke Bowles, Staff Writer

If you thought the U.S. still had a shred of kindness or understanding for hard-working, respectable immigrants, I have some news for you. 

Over the past several months, the Immigrants and Customs Enforcement, or ICE, arrested over 250 immigrants who applied to an accredited university in Detroit. The catch? It wasn’t real. Instead, it was a sting operation to arrest immigrants for visa fraud. 

Yes, you read that right. 

On its website, the University of Farmington boasted of its STEM curriculum and cost of tuition for undergraduates ($8,500 per year). In reality, the school was staffed by no teachers, just undercover ICE agents.

The “university” itself was located in Farmington Hills, Mich., and students had to pay thousands of dollars in order to use the college on their visa applications. No matter how the scheme is viewed, it is almost undeniably cruel and unjust.

These were hard-working immigrants who were genuinely committed to making a better life for themselves. They were not drug dealers and rapists, but instead students seeking a college education who had applied legally. Around 80 percent of the students were allowed to leave the U.S. voluntarily. Another 10 percent were forcibly deported, and the remaining 10 percent are contesting their removal. 

I honestly hope that the remaining 10 percent all are granted permanent status because what the U.S. did is, in all aspects, entrapment. The “university” was specifically created to target immigrants. Again, these were people who came here legally, many from India, not illegal border-crossers. 

Even worse, the Department of Homeland Security actually accredited the “university” on its website, only furthering the lie fed to these immigrants. 

The “university” raked in millions of dollars from tuition costs, and those immigrants will never see that money again. Some are even still paying off loans they took out to attend Farmington. 

This fake university was pointless, vile and simply unnecessary. These immigrants were in the U.S. being productive members of society and simply wanted to stay in the U.S. Instead, they were unfairly targeted when there are actual criminals out in society. 

ICE has become unbelievably cruel, and for me, this scheme crossed the line. This whole situation wasn’t a removal of drug dealers or thieves; instead, it was entrapment of sincere immigrants orchestrated by the United States government. 

Luckily, seven people have been found guilty of conspiracy for illegally recruiting students to the “university.” Another person is set to be sentenced in January.