PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — The U.S. Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement say they have arrested 15 nonimmigrant students as part of an investigation into alleged fraud.
Homeland Security and ICE held a news conference Wednesday morning to discuss what’s called “Operation OPTical Illusion.”READ MORE: COVID-19 In Pittsburgh: Nearly 70 Inmates And Staff At Allegheny County Jail Infected
In total, the operation, which is ongoing, has led to the arrest of 15 nonimmigrant students who investigators say claimed to be employed by companies that do not exist. Some of those students are in Pittsburgh.
The Department of Homeland Security says these foreign students are here in the United States to further their education, but some are staying here for other illegal opportunities.
Those within the department say students must maintain their non-immigration status and follow the rules of the Optional Practical Training, or OPT, program.
ICE officials say they are policing these individuals to make sure the students are obeying the law.READ MORE: 'We've Been Trying To Reach You:' Robocalls Soar During Pandemic, How To Avoid Them
“They are not fulfilling their obligation to the U.S. government and the American people, and that’s been made clear here. We will not tolerate that under a Trump Administration,” said Department of Homeland Security Secretary Ken Cuccinelli. “So there’ll be consequences within some of these universities as well, that will be coming down the road, but not very far down the road.”
Investigators say schools are part of the ongoing probe. There are people in place to oversee these foreign nationals and the investigators alleged that some are not following their job.
Those people will face consequences as well, investigators say.
The operation started back in January.MORE NEWS: Pittsburgh Weather: Brief Cool Down Before A Warm Weekend
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