Hyderabad: The eight recruiters from the two Telugu states, whom the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has charged with conspiracy in aiding at least 600 foreign citizens to illegally stay in the US, will be produced before a US criminal court on February 4.
The eight reportedly earned $3,00,000 (around Rs 2.1 crore) through enrolment, a source based in the US told this newspaper.
They face imprisonment. The US Homeland Security, in an undercover operation, created a fake university in Farmington Hills to lure foreign students who were trying to stay in the US illegally.
The eight, Barath Kakireddy of Florida, Suresh Kandala of Virginia, Phanideep Karnati of Kentucky, Prem Rampeesa of North Carolina, Santosh Sama of Califor-nia, Avinash Thakkalla-pally of Pennsylvania, Aswanth Nune of Georgia and Naveen Prathipati of Texas, worked like recruiters and helped portray the foreign citizens as students and got them enrolled into the fake university.
“Along with the attorneys and consulate diplomats, representatives of TANA visited the students who are currently lodged in 121 detention centres across the US,” said Mr Ashok Kolla, joint treasurer of Telugu Association of North America.
“Those detained are placed for deportation. The respective attorneys will be approaching the immigration judge for their voluntary departure notice on Monday. While they are lodged in different prisons, the attorneys have rendered legal advice. The messages from these students were conveyed to the Indian Ambassador to the US and an emergency message has been sent out, asking attorneys to come forward and help the detained,” Mr Kolla said.
He added: “Out of the eight students charged by ICE and facing criminal charges, one is lodged in the Tailor Municipality – Detroit, while the others are in different prisons. Out of the eight, five are from Telangana and three from Andhra Pradesh. They will be produced before the criminal court at 1 clock eastern time on Monday. Initially, the eight will be provided a public prosecutor. Also, the Indian Consulate general of Chicago will be meeting them on February 4.”
The Indian Consulate in Houston staff, along with an attorney and representatives of the North American Telugu Association, visited the detention centre at Dallas. Eight Indian students are currently lodged in Dallas prison. Seven of them are male and all from Hyderabad and Khammam in Telangana state and a few from Andhra Pradesh. The girl student is from North India. Attorney Geetha Tamana has rendered legal advice to those in Dallas
“For now, the attorneys have sought details of students and will be seeking voluntary departure from the Immigration Judge. Several students have already been served notices to appear before the immigration judge. Of the total detained, 80 per cent are Telugu,” said a source....