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Indian and Chinese Americans charged with visa fraud in ‘Pay-to-Stay’ F1 Scam

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Part-WAS-Was8907420-1-1-0NEW YORK (Diya TV) — In one of the largest busts in the history of student visa scams, 21 brokers, recruiters and employers — the vast majority of whom are Indian or Chinese Americans — were arrested for allegedly conspiring to fraudulently maintain more than 1,000 student visas and obtain foreign worker visas through a “pay to stay” New Jersey college.

The arrests were conducted in New Jersey and Washington by special agents of the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Agency. Those who were arrested were charged with conspiracy to commit visa fraud, conspiracy to harbor aliens for profit and other offenses. All of the accused, except for Yanjun Lin aka Aimee Lin, 25, of Flushing, New York, were ordered to appear on Tuesday in front of U.S. Magistrate Judge Steven C. Mannion in federal court.

“‘Pay to Stay’ schemes not only damage our perception of legitimate student and foreign worker visa programs, they also pose a very real threat to national security,” Fishman said, according to the Justice Department.  “Today’s arrests, which were made possible by the great undercover work of our law enforcement partners, stopped 21 brokers, recruiters and employers across multiple states who recklessly exploited our immigration system for financial gain.”

“While the United States fully supports international education, we will vigorously investigate those who seek to exploit the U.S. immigration system,” said Director Sarah R. Saldaña for ICE.  “As a result of this operation, HSI special agents have successfully identified and closed a gap in the student visa system and have arrested 21 individuals alleged to be amongst the system’s most egregious violators.”

“Individuals engaged in schemes that would undermine the remarkable educational opportunities afforded to international students represent an affront to those who play by the rules,” said Special Agent in Charge Terence S. Opiola for ICE Homeland Security Investigations.  “These unscrupulous individuals undermine the integrity of the immigration system.  Our special agents are committed to addressing, identifying fraud in order to better protect the system as a whole.”

According to the 14 complaints, the defendants, many of whom operated recruiting companies for international students, were arrested for their involvement in an alleged scheme to enroll foreign nationals as students in the University of Northern New Jersey, a purported for-profit college. However, the defendants were unaware that the university was a Sept. 2013 creation of HSI federal agents.

Through the fictitious university, federal agents investigated criminal activities associated with the Student and Exchange Visitor Program, including, but not limited to, student visa fraud and the harboring of aliens for profit. The school at no point was staffed with instructors or educators, had no real curriculum and at no point had actual classes or educational activities. In fact, the university operated solely as a storefront, with small offices staffed by federal agents posing as school administrators.

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise

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U.S., India, Japan & Australia complete Malabar exercise | Diya TV News

MALABAR ISLANDS, India (Diya TV) — Maritime forces from the U.S., India, Japan and Australia completed Phase II of the exercises dubbed Malabar in the Arabian Sea. The U.S. State Department thanked India in a tweet for hosting the effort by “The Quad” that promotes a free and open Indo-Pacific against a growing Chinese presence in the region.

The state of Michigan officially certified its election, formally granting President-Elect Biden its 16 electoral votes. And while President Trump continues to litigate in the hopes of overturning the outcome of the election, to date, he’s lost more than 30 cases. And now the General Services Administration informed the President-Elect he will be able to get the funding and documents needed  to start the formal transition in government.

Indian American Mala Adiga was appointed by President-Elect Joe Biden to be the Policy Director for his wife Jill, who will be the First Lady. Adiga is an alum of the Obama administration, as well as the Biden Foundation.

Pakistani American Dr. Umair Shah was appointed by Washington Gov. Jay Inslee to be Washington State’s Secretary of Health. Shah currently serves as executive director and local health authority for Harris County Public Health in Texas. 

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot

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Modi thanks troops for thwarting terror plot | Diya TV News

JAMMU and KASHMIR, India (Diya TV) — Indian Prime Minister Modi thanked security forces for unraveling a terrorist plot by Pakistan-based Jaish-e-Mohammad. Four men suspected of plotting a new attack on the anniversary of the 26/11 attacks were killed during a gunfight with Indian armed forces at a checkpoint in Jammu. Their truck was loaded with a cache of weapons and explosives. Modi is now reviewing the security apparatus along the international border and the Line of Control with Pakistan amid this infiltration.

Terrorism was a major theme of the annual BRICS summit featuring Brazil, Russia, India, China and South Africa was hosted by Russia virtually. Prime Minister Modi said terrorism is the biggest challenge world is facing today, adding “countries that support the terrorists are held accountable.” Russian President Vladmir Putin said India and China may start producing Russia’s Sputnik V vaccine against COVID-19.

Donald Trump Jr., President Trump’s eldest son, tested positive for coronavirus. His father and his girlfriend Kimberly Guilfoyle and many others in the Trump inner circle have had the virus over the last few months. A spokesman said Trump Jr. learned his diagnosis earlier this week, but has no symptoms and is quarantining in his cabin.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC

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Senators Warner, Cornyn talk US-India relations to USIBC | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — China as it relates to the U.S. and India was a central topic of conversation at the USIBC Post-Election Perspectives virtual conference. Democratic Senator Mark Warner, Republican Senator John Cornyn in conversation with former U.S. Ambassador to India Richard Verma both conveyed how India’s importance to the U.S. is increasing in terms of security and economic opportunity moving forward. Both Senators were confident bilateral ties between the world’s two largest democracies would continue to strengthen under a Biden administration. Cornyn and Warner are co-chairs of the Senate India Caucus.

Elections officials in Georgia called the presidential race for President-elect Joe Biden after a hand recount recertified the results. The vote discrepancy totaled in the hundreds and not thousands needed for President Trump to change the outcome. Biden will be awarded the state’s 16 electoral votes. The Trump campaign continues to dispute the outcome and says they will continue to pursue all legal options.

And the Minnesota Timberwolves selected Anthony Edwards #1 overall in the NBA Draft. The Golden State Warriors picked big man James Wiseman #2, but lost NBA champion & sharpshooter Klay Thompson for the year to an Achilles injury

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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