‘Operation OPTical Illusion’: 11 Indian Students Arrested by ICE

Eleven Indian students arrested for committing fraud in the Optional Practical Training program.

11 Indian students arrested in an ongoing operation to check the fraudulent use of the Optional Practical Training program.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has arrested 15 foreign nationals, 11 of whom are Indian students, in an ongoing operation to check fraudulent use of the Optional Practical Training (OPT) program to remain in the US.

A Bangladeshi, Senegalese and two Libyan nationals were also among those arrested.


“Operation OPTical Illusion” targeted nonimmigrant students who claimed to be employed by companies that don’t exist, the agency announced on Wednesday.

OPT enables nonimmigrant students to work in the US in positions related to their field of study for up to one year, with an additional 24 months if the student participates in STEM optional practical training.

“ICE has a system of checks in place to mitigate fraud and is committed to protecting national security by ensuring that students, visitors, and schools comply with US immigration laws,” said acting ICE Director Tony Pham.

“These latest arrests demonstrate that the agency is actively targeting individuals who try to exploit the student visa system.”

“Today’s announcement is just another example of the Trump Administration not only putting America first but making sure the laws of our immigration system are enforced,” said Acting Deputy Secretary Ken Cuccinelli in an ICE media release.

“Every instance of fraud is a job an American worker could have had, and with so many Americans looking for work this crime is even more unacceptable.”

(At The Quint, we are answerable only to our audience. Play an active role in shaping our journalism by becoming a member. Because the truth is worth it.)

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