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India seeks consular access of its students detained in US

ANI | Updated: Feb 01, 2019 16:54 IST

New Delhi [India], Feb 1 (ANI): India on Friday requested consular access and details of the scores of Indian students who were arrested on Wednesday in the United States for violating immigration rules.
External Affairs Ministry in a statement said it had accorded the highest priority to the situation.
 “As soon as we received the information regarding their detention, our Mission contacted the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security requesting for a list of the detained students along with relevant identity details, the place of their detention, etc. We have placed a formal request for consular access, emphasizing that the request may be taken as very high priority” the statement said.
In a nationwide crackdown on Wednesday, US authorities arrested scores of Indian students, mainly from Andhra Pradesh and Telangana, who were illegally staying in the country. A US federal court charged eight Indian student recruiters- six from Detroit and one each from Florida and Virginia. The Department of Homeland Security, US Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency has also issued warrants for the arrest of 600 persons.
 “We have highlighted that a distinction should be made between those involved in recruiting or enrolling students and students who have been duped or defrauded in the process,” the statement read.
“Our Mission and Posts are ready to render all assistance to Indian students in the U.S. to deal with the emerging situation. We have also involved Indian community organizations in reaching out to the students,” the Ministry further added.
The conspiracy came to light after the Department of Homeland Security set up a fake university in Farmington Hills to target foreign students who wanted to stay in the U.S. without proper authorization, according to federal indictments unsealed in Detroit.
The students enrolled at the fake university with the intent to obtain jobs under a student visa program called CPT (Curricular Practical Training) that allows students to work in the U.S., said prosecutors.
India is closely monitoring the situation and has expressed to the US government “the need to address the situation at the earliest.” (ANI)