Immigration Blog

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Student Visa Fraud Scheme Surfaces in Miami

Mar 4, 2010 | immigration fraud

For anyone who read our last blog entry, this should not come as a surprise.  In fact, the following is just another reminder that there ARE people out there who do not care about immigrants and only care about making money by defrauding the immigrants and the U.S. government.

Two Miami-area women were charged with running an elaborate student visa scheme.  According to the indictment, the two women, both employees of a school, falsely stated that the petitions they signed were actual visa requests for foreign students, thereby tricking the federal government into granting more than 200 student visas to foreign nationals who were not students.

While these two women face criminal prosecution, it remains to be seen what will happen to those “students” who were “granted” visas as a result of the scheme.

Did the “students” knowingly participate in the fraud?

Did they know that they were paying to get fake visas?

Did they believe that their visas would be valid even if they did not comply with the requirements for a student visa?

Now that this scheme has surfaced, it is possible (and likely) that the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement will try to track down these “students” to place them in removal proceedings for not being in possession of a valid visa.

Throughout the United States, hundreds of intending immigrants are being defrauded by people claiming to have the authority or expertise to “make the American Dream come true.”  Immigrants are spending thousands of dollars to hang on to a promise that is never fulfilled.  Instead, they become victims of fraud.

This situation is completely different from immigrants who may conspire to commit a fraud.  While there are those cases, majority of the immigrants who are victimized due to fraud are innocent participants of schemes formulated by greedy people who want nothing more than to take advantage of those who do not know the immigration laws.

It remains to be seen whether the “students” in this Miami scheme were “innocent victims” or “willing participants” in the fraud committed by the two school employees.

Ruchi Thaker