Katherine Kral

Imagine you are an immigrant.[1] You are legally in the United States on an F1 Visa.[2] You have almost completed your university studies when you get an unsuspecting email from the President of another University applauding your accomplishments and enticing you to further your studies at his school.[3] You check out the school’s website and verify its accreditation.[4] The school appears legitimate.[5] You send in your application, get accepted, and pay tuition.[6] You think you are legally in the United States on an F1 Visa, until that school closes, blaming their own recruiters, and you, for scamming the system.[7] Not only do you lose the money you paid for tuition, but you also lose your status in the United States.[8]

No need to imagine. This really happened to hundreds of students who simply wanted to extend their once-legitimate stay in the United States.[9] A month after President Trump took office, the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) targeted and pursued foreign students within the United States.[10] DHS set up the University of Farmington, and the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) executed the University.[11] The University of Farmington targeted legitimate F1-holding students.[12] ICE, the brain of the University, wanted to rip away students’ immigration statuses, make examples out of upstanding immigrants, and make money in the process.

This Note proposes prosecuting ICE with a statute initially created to prosecute the mob, the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, otherwise known as RICO. Part I of this Note provides an introduction to University of Farmington and a brief history and background of RICO.[13] Part II delves into the formation of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE).[14] Part III dissects RICO and describes how the government and private citizens can utilize this weighty civil and criminal statute to combat ICE’s terrorism on immigrants.[15] Lastly, this Note will conclude why RICO is the perfect statute to combat the agency once created to protect our borders.[16]



[1] 8 USC § 1101(a)(15)(F).

[2] Richard A. Boswell, Essentials of Immigration Law 120 (4th ed. 2016) (defining the “most common of the educational study visas . . . designed for persons coming to engage in academic study in a full-time program”).

[3] Niraj Warikoo, Emails show how fake university in metro Detroit lured students, Detroit Free Press (Feb. 11, 2019),

[4] See id. (stating “[t]he University of Farmington is a nationally accredited business and STEM institution located in Metro Detroit”).

[5] See id. (highlighting how “[a]t the request of DHS, a national accreditation agency listed the University of Farmington as being accredited in order to help deceive prospective students.”).

[6] See id. (explaining the “[g]raduate programs tuition is $2500 per quarter. Depending on fees, average cost is $1,000 per month[,]” wrote the President).

[7] United States v. Bharath Kakireddy, et. al, No.19 Civ. 08876 (E. Dist. Mich. S. Div. Jan. 15, 2019) (alleging the foreign-citizen defendants, “act[ed] in concert with each other and others, assist[ing] at least 600 . . . foreign citizens to illegally remain, re-enter, and work in the United States”).

[8] Warikoo, supra note 3.

[9] Kakireddy, et. al, No. 2-19-cr-20026.

[10] See id. (spanning from February 2017 through January 2019 foreign students were enticed to attend the fraudulent University of Farmington).

[11] Warikoo, supra note 3.

[12] Evan Gerstmann, Understanding The Bizarre ICE Fake University Sting Operation, Forbes (Nov. 30, 2019 5:13 PM),

[13] Infra Part 1.

[14] Infra Part II.

[15] Infra Part III.

[16] Infra Part IV.

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