Wed. Jun 29th, 2022

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15 Nonimmigrant Students Arrested by ICE for OPT Fraud

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On Wednesday U.S. immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced preliminary results from Operation Optical Illusion. A law enforcement operation focusing on nonimmigrant students who deceitfully utilized the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to stay in the United States. OPT enables nonimmigrant students to work in the United States in positions related to their field of study for as long as one year. Also, with an additional two years if the student participates in STEM optional practical training.

ICE Arrests 15 Nonimmigrant Students

The operation, which is continuous, resulted in the arrest of 15 nonimmigrant students. Who proclaimed to employed by organizations that don’t exist.

The present declaration is simply one more case of the Trump Administration. Not only putting America first as well as ensuring the laws of our immigration system are enforced. Said Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli. “Each occurrence of fraud is a job an American worker could have had, and with so many Americans searching for work this crime is even more unacceptable.”

ICE has a system of checks in place to mitigate fraud and is focused on protecting public security. By ensuring that students, visitors, and schools comply with U.S. immigration laws, said ICE Senior Official Performing the Duties of Director Tony Pham. “These most recent arrests show that the organization is effectively focusing on people who attempt to exploit the student visa system.”

[US B1 visa in lieu of H1B visa could be scrapped]

According to the report the 15 nonimmigrant students arrests took place in and around Boston, MA; the Washington, DC zone; Houston, TX; Ft. Lauderdale, FL; Newark, NJ; Nashville, TN; as well as Pittsburgh and Harrisburg, PA, and included 11 Indian nationals, two Libyan nationals, one Senegalese public, and one Bangladeshi national.

The organization will keep on verifying students who attained new employment through OPT for compliance with their nonimmigrant status. Any recognized leads will review for potential future enforcement.

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