VIJAYAWADA: Over 30 students, who were either detained or received Notice to Appear (NTA) in the US for breaking immigration rules, are all set to return to India. As majority of the immigration lawyers suggested the candidates to go back to India to avoid legal complications, many students have packed their bags and ready to board their flights to their home country.
It all started with a sting operation of the Department of Homeland Security, which set up a fake university in Farmington Hills to target foreign students who wanted to stay in the US without proper authorisation.
The massive operation, which was named ‘paper-chase’, almost roped in 600 students, of which 130 were detained, while some students received NTA and the remaining are under the close watch of the immigration officials.
Of the total 130 students of Farmington University who were detained in various places, 129 are from India and one from Palestine. The arrests of the students took place in New Jersey, Atlanta, Houston, Michigan, California, Louisiana, North Carolina and St. Louis. The students, who are in various detention centres in Atlanta, Houston and Michigan, are going to be presented before the immigration judge for hearing on Monday (US date).
According to immigration lawyer M Madhu, who is dealing with the cases of a few students who were detained in Florida, said, “In fact, the detained students are free to go back to India. Many students have already decided to go back to India. They can come back to the US in future, based on their conduct. Many students fear that if detained, the US government will bar them for coming back to US in future. However, it is not true, the students can come back at any time.”
According to immigration experts, who are working voluntarily for the detained students, many are ready to travel back to India in the next 24 hours. “The students who were not detained but received NTA have mentioned to the immigration officials that they are going back and submitted their journey details along with ticket number.
Over 30 students are going to travel back to India during February 4 and 5. Once the immigration judge completes the hearing, even the detained students can return to their home country. Currently, a few students, whose hearing is over, are going back to India,” said Madhu. Speaking to TNIE, Vemuru Ravi, president of APNRT Society, said, “The students can happily come back to India. Now a days, even we have more opportunities for the skilled and they need not run after US or UK or any other country.”Meanwhile, associations such as American Telugu Association (ATA) and Telugu Association of North America (TANA) are hosting various programmes and seminars on the things to do and not to do in the US.