Nearly 2,400 Indians lodged in US prison for illegally crossing border: Report
Nearly 2,400 Indians are lodged in various American prisons for illegally crossing the US border to seek asylum in the country.
According to the information obtained by the North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) through Freedom of Information Act, as many as 2,382 Indians are lodged in 86 jails in the US.
As of October 10, a total of 377 Indian nationals are detained at California’s Adelanto Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) Processing Center, 269 at Imperial Regional Adult Detention Facility, 245 at the Federal Correctional Institution Victorville, and 115 at Washington State’s Tacoma ICE Processing Centre.
While talking to PTI, NAPA president Satnam S Chahal said, “Most of the detainees at the federal facilities are asking for asylum claiming that they ‘experienced violence or persecution’ in their home country.” “This is a matter of serious concern that thousands of Indians, with an overwhelming majority of them being from Punjab, are languishing in jails in the US,” he added.
He further alleged that there is a nexus of human traffickers and officials in Punjab, who encourage a young Punjabis to leave their homes to illegally enter the US and charge Rs 35-50 lakhs from each individual. “Human trafficking is a criminal act which affects the global community and consequently Punjabis are too victims of this episode,” Chahal noted.
“The Punjabi enthusiasm to migrate to affluent countries in search of greener pastures has given the traffickers to exploit them,” Chahal said. “Failure to reach their promised destination leads to deportation, exploitation, indebtedness, imprisonment and even death,” he rued.
In the end, Chahal urged the Punjab government to strictly enforce human trafficking laws that have been passed by the State Assembly in recent years.
It is to be noted that last week, the Trump administration decided to restrict the entry of illegal migrants who cross the southern border with Mexico to seek asylum in the US.