The Guardian (UK) has published a long article on a highly successful sting run by Immigration and Customs Enforcement last year.
ICE created a totally phony educational institution, the University of Farmington, in Michigan, and lured both foreign "students" and their recruiters into participating in what was obviously an illegal operation — there were no classes and no classrooms. Some of the aliens have been rounded up and deported.
The article, without discussing the government's costs in the operation, wonders about the "tuition payments" made by the aliens and what became of them, hinting that a hard-pressed DHS might have made a profit on the operation. The writer's tone is generally unfriendly not to aliens misusing their student visas and presumably working illegally, but to those seeking to enforce the law.