Federal Appeals Court Rules Students Can Sue ICE Over Sting Operation of ‘Fake University’

Prospective students who paid thousands of dollars to a fake university created by Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) will be allowed to sue the agency after a federal appeals court ruling on June 25th.

The fake university was created as part of an ICE sting operation aimed at targeting individuals who commit visa fraud. The plan was revealed in 2019 when the agency charged eight people for “harboring aliens for profit.”

Anna Nathanson, an attorney representing the prospective students, lauded the ruling, saying that it allows “600 students unjustly targeted by this fake ICE university to have their day in court.”

The eight individuals facing indictments are accused of trying to help foreign students remain in the United States by getting them enrolled in the university.

The lawsuit alleges that ICE essentially stole money from individuals who were actually trying to obtain an education, even though the sting operation resulted in the arrests of more than 200 students.

Vance Callender, who was the special agent in charge of the ICE’s Detroit office, defended the agency’s actions. He told reporters:

The students, most of whom were from India, came to the United States legally on F-1 student visa programs when they enrolled in the fake university. Almost 80 percent of the 250 students were later deported.

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