Ashwin Sharma interviewed by RedFM (Canada) and BBC Radio (India) on US HSI’s Fake “University of Farmington” Sting Operation
Attorney Sharma was interviewed by RedFM Canada, as well as BBC India about the below story on US Immigration’s fake university and the arrests of Indian students – BBC story (Hindi language) begins at about 5:30 min into radio program here:
India has made a diplomatic protest to the US after 129 Indian students were arrested for enrolling in a fake university.
The University of Farmington, advertised as based in Michigan state, was run by undercover agents from the Department of Homeland Security to expose “pay-to-stay” immigration fraud.
Prosecutors say those who enrolled knew that the facility would be illegal.
However, Indian officials say the students may have been duped.
On Saturday, the Indian Ministry of External Affairs (MEA) issued the protest to the US embassy in Delhi, expressing concern over the arrests and demanding consular access to those detained.
“Our concern over the dignity and wellbeing of the detained students and the need for immediate consular access for Indian officials to the detainees was reiterated,” the ministry said.
The fake university was set up in 2015 to try to catch foreign nationals who had initially travelled to the US on student visas and wanted to stay in the country, US media reported.
I was interviewed by the San Francisco Chronicle’s Trisha Thadani for her well-researched article regarding the F-1 OPT program and the latest results of the Pew Research Center’s 12-year period study into this program, released today, in which it found that “Federal training program sees 400% increase in foreign students graduating and working in STEM fields from 2008 to 2016“.
Though it looks as if we can expect a further hobbling of the F-1 OPT program, I believe that such an act would only damage our nation’s precarious international lead in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM). There is a very real and obvious workforce problem in our country, for which the OPT or the H-1B is a temporary salve: not the cause. Rather, the issue is that among the tens of thousands of things that America has stopped manufacturing en masse include American STEM Graduates. That is the single biggest reason why half of our Ph.D. candidates as well as a quarter of our STEM workforce are foreign born.
Ultimately, instead of scapegoating “Srinivas from Hyderabad” for daring to pay U.S. tuition fees, studying hard, and filling one of the 480,000 open computing jobs nationwide in OPT or H-1B status, we should be asking ourselves why “Suzy from Ohio” is majoring in Italian Art History or Anthropology or Philosophy instead of Computer Engineering. Anti-immigrationists must stop playing the victim, stop shifting the blame onto the voiceless, and start taking personal responsibility, the American Way: by enrolling themselves or their own children into Mathematics, Biochemistry, Engineering, or Information Technology programs.