It is now widely known that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) created a fake university in Michigan with the goal of uncovering ongoing fraud in the student visa program. Despite the fact that the University of Farmington was not a real school nor did it provide real classes or academic instruction, the recruiters who were paid by foreign students, mostly Chinese and Indian nationals, were real.
And, as the Detroit News reported earlier this year, the indictments of eight individuals for running an pay-to-stay scheme pitched at international students were real.
But paying attention to details and facts is not a lesson politicians and activists have mastered. So, when news broke last week that Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) had arrested 90 additional illegal alien students, they reacted with jerked knees and righteous indignation.
Sen. Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) claimed the operation was “cruel and appalling,” while her Democratic primary rival Sen. Kamala Harris of California tweeted that it “isn’t just cruel, it’s a waste of taxpayer dollars” and officials should be held to account.
Rep. Donna Shalala, who formerly served in President Obama’s Cabinet and as president of the University of Miami, called the DHS operation “another shameful chapter in US history written by the Trump administration.”
“Welcome to United States immigration policy in 2019,” scrawled Esquire’s Charles Pierce, who also asserted “the whole scam was set up as yet another vehicle to restrict immigration to this country, and to delegitimize programs already in place.”
If they had actually done their homework – or at least read the news articles based on the facts, then the lawmakers and media lecturers would know that genesis of “Operation Paper Chase” occurred during the Obama administration.
The sympathy extended to the foreign students, most of whom have self-deported, also fails to reflect the facts of the case. The indictments, according to a January 31 report in the New York Times, charge that each of the foreign citizens enrolled and made ‘tuition’ payments “knew that they would not attend any actual classes, earn credits, or make academic progress toward an actual degree in a particular field of study.”
In short, their only reason for enrolling at the University of Farming was to circumvent the restrictions placed on F-1 students at real institutions of higher education.
But, sadly, few media moralizers paid any attention to the facts of this case. Washington Post opinion columnist Ezra Klein concluded that the “House should hold hearings investigating this.”
Is Klein really suggesting an investigation of the sting which began in Obama administration? What about the University of Northern New Jersey, another fake university set up by Obama’s DHS to, as the New York Times described it, “ensnare criminals involved in student visa fraud.”
In an April 2016 press conference announcing the indictments resulting from the New Jersey case, U.S. Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul Fishman emphasized that , the students were not simply innocent rubes.
He stated, “Not only do these purported students get to stay in the country because schools are vouching for them, but student visas, under the right circumstances, can start people on the pathway to legal permanent residence and citizenship.”
Even Corey Lee, an immigration lawyer in Manhattan, argued that the claim by the foreign students that they were pawns in this scheme is hard to stomach.
“If you didn’t go to a class for a year, you should expect something is going on,” he told the New York Times in 2016.
It’s funny how actions that constituted good immigration policing under Obama have suddenly become civil rights atrocities under the Trump administration.
Now the key question is, who perpetrates a bigger fraud on the American people? The international students who seek out fake universities to circumvent immigration laws? Or the media hacks and politicians who defend the lawbreakers while criticizing ICE?