The detention of Indian students by the US immigration authorities came up during Indian Foreign Secretary Vijay Gokhale’s meeting with Congressional leaders, according to a participant.
Representative Tom Suozzi tweeted that during the Monday meeting they discussed immigration issues and that he himself “sought everyone’s assistance regarding the Telugu students detained” by immigration authorities.
The meeting took place in the Washington office of Brad Sherman, a Democrat, who is the chairman of the House of Representatives Subcommittee on Asia, the Pacific and Non-Proliferation. The panel’s Ranking Republican Member Ted Yoho was also present.
As many as 129 Indians, most of them from Telangana and Andhra Pradesh, were among the 130 foreign students arrested for enrolling at a fake university in February that officials had created in a sting operation against misuse of visas.
Officials allege that they had enrolled in the institution knowing that it did not hold classes but was used only to facilitate visas.
However, an eminent Indian American attorney alleged that the Department of Homeland Security knowingly allowed a fake university to be set up and misled students sitting hundreds of miles away in another country.
A day after the State Department blamed Indian students for the mass detention and possible deportation from the US for enrolling themselves in a fake university set up by the Department of Homeland Security, California-based immigration attorney Anu Peshawaria said that the undercover operation had devastating consequences for hundred of Indian students.
India had sought consular access and has given “top priority” to its students detained by the US authorities and has impressed upon the Trump administration the need to address the situation at the earliest.
On Tuesday, Gokhale attended the India-US Strategic Dialogue with David Hale, the Under Secretary of State for Political Affairs in Washington.
He is scheduled to continue the dialogue on Wednesday with Andrea Thompson, the Under Secretary of State for for Arms Control and International Security Affairs.