21 brokers, employers and recruiters from all over the United States were arrested on Tuesday morning by federal agents for conspiring with over 1000 foreign nationals to fraudulently obtain overseas work visas and maintain student US visas via a “pay to stay” college in New Jersey, according to a statement from US attorney, Paul J Fishman.
Fishman says that Pay to Stay schemes of the kind being run by the college damage the way in which the general public perceive legitimate overseas worker and student US visa programs, but also pose “a very real threat to national security.” Fish praised the undercover work that was undertaken by the law enforcement agencies to stop 21 brokers, employers and recruiters from different states exploiting the nation’s immigration system for the sake of their own financial benefit.
The defendants were taken into custody in Washington and New Jersey by Homeland Security Investigations and US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agents and were charged with fourteen counts, including conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit and conspiracy to commit US visa fraud as well as numerous other offenses. Six of those arrested were from New Jersey and will appear in court in Newark before US Magistrate Judge Steven C Mannion next Tuesday.
Sarah R Saldana, the director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement, says that while the United States offers its full support to international education ICE will pursue investigations against those who attempt to egregiously violate the system.