US detention centres have 2,382 illegal Indian immigrants
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has 2,382 illegal Indian immigrants in its custody and they are lodged in different detention centres across the country, according to information released last month under the Freedom of Information Act.
North American Punjabi Association executive director Satnam Singh Chahal had sought the information about the Indians held in the ICE detention centres.
Chahal said he expected a significant number of Punjabis would be among the Indian detainees. "They are known for their obsession to reach abroad and the US is one of the most-favoured destinations," he said.
"Most of these Indians get nabbed at the Mexico border, get processed in Texas and are then sent to the other detention centres in the country," Chahal said.
‘Nexus of traffickers, officials and politicians'
The number of Indian detainees in the ICE custody has increased by two-and-a-half times in almost three years as information procured by Chahal in the last weeks of December 2015 had revealed 920 Indians were in detention at the time for illegally entering the US. Chahal had visited some of the detention centres in 2015 after some of the illegal immigrants from Punjab had complained about being given non-vegetarian food and had interacted with them at the time.
Most of the illegal Indian immigrants are lodged in detention facilities in California. The data of the Indian detainees has revealed that 1,008 Indians are held in different centres in California, including 377 at Adelanto ICE processing centre, 245 at FCI Victorville and 269 at Imperial regional adult detention facility at Calexico. California is followed by Arizona where 434 Indians are held in different detention centres, including 144 at CCA Florence Correction Centre and 129 at San Luis regional detention centre. Washington’s Tacoma ICE Processing Centre houses 115 illegal Indian immigrants.
Chahal said that most of the Indian detainees in the federal facilities would opt for seeking asylum in the US. “There is nexus of human traffickers, officials and politicians in Punjab, who encourage young Punjabis to leave their homes to illegally enter the US and charge Rs 35-50 lakhs from each of them,” he claimed.
Immigrants from India Increasing at US-Mexico Border
SAN FRANCISCO, CALIFORNIA — Immigrants from India are becoming increasingly common at the U.S.-Mexico border. They are now the fifth-largest group after immigrants from Mexico, Honduras, Guatemala and El Salvador.
While Indians still lag far behind Latin Americans, the number is rising. In fiscal year 2017, 2,227 Indians were apprehended trying to cross the U.S.-Mexico border. In the first seven months of FY 2018, there were 4,197 apprehensions, according to Syracuse University's TRAC.
"Their number shot up," said Randy Capps, director of research for U.S. programs at the Migration Policy Institute.