Eight Indians detained in US allowed voluntary departure

Sources said all the eight, who were given the option to review and fight back, had asked for voluntary departure and the same was granted.

By Author  |  Published: 13th Feb 2019  12:43 amUpdated: 13th Feb 2019  8:13 pm

Hyderabad: Eight Indian students, who were detained in connection with alleged visa and Curricular Programme Training (CPT) issues at the Michigan Monroe Detention Centre in the United States, have been allowed to ‘voluntarily’ leave the US.

According to information reaching here, the hearing in connection with the case at the Michigan Monroe detention centre was completed on Tuesday and all the eight, mostly Telugus, who were detained at the centre earlier this month were allowed the facility of voluntary departure. Sources said all the eight, who were given the option to review and fight back, had asked for voluntary departure and the same was granted.

More importantly, the judge said they would not have issues returning to the US with valid visas and that whether visas would be given would depend on the consulate. The departure route for the eight would be according to directions from US officials concerned. The students are expected to be able to leave the US in two weeks.

The students have expressed their gratitude to the American Telangana Association, which had coordinated with them and attorneys and other legal experts to help them, ATA office bearers said.

The eight are among several Indian students, a majority of whom are from the two Telugu States, who were detained in different detention centres across the US after a sting operation by law enforcement agencies to ‘expose’ foreigners violating visa norms in the US.

The sting operation, which is said to have been on for over two years, was based in the University of Farmington. Undercover agents had posed as owners and employees of the university, which had no other instructors or staff, no curriculum or actual classes, so that they could trap foreign citizens trying to illegally remain in the United States. Eight Indians, again mostly Telugus, were arrested late last month after being identified through this operation.