Indian-American condemns detention of Sikhs in the US

An Indian American businessman has condemned the detention of Sikhs in the United States of America and said an investigation was underway to look into the incident.


“The matter is under investigation,” Sant Singh Chatwal told news agency ANI. “We are checking on their involvement (with the contingent of illegal immigrants who are seeking asylum). I am sure that the US will make a fair decision. What happened there is an unfortunate thing. I can’t say much, but if an Indian in the US gets into a problem, we help them,” added Chatwal.


Talking about the strict immigration rules imposed by the Donald Trump administration, Chatwal said regulations needed to be relaxed.


Reports emerged a few weeks back that 52 immigrants, mostly Sikhs, were being detained at a detention center in Oregon for being illegal immigrants seeking asylum in the country.


Democratic lawmakers recently visited the detention centre and revealed to the media the alleged inhuman condition of illegal immigrants being kept there.


In a blog post, Congresswoman Suzanne Bonamici said the Indian detainees were planning to request for asylum, instead they have been incarcerated in a federal prison.


“Through our Punjabi translator, we learned that these men were planning to request asylum because they faced severe religious persecution in India. Most are Sikh or Christian. Instead they were incarcerated in a federal prison,” she said.


“They said they came to the United States for religious freedom, but they felt as if they were ‘going crazy’ because they are being confined in small cells for up to 22 hours a day,” the Congresswoman said.


Although several of the detainees travelled to the border with their family members, none knew where their family members are.


“This is a shameful hour in US history. I don’t care what your stance on immigration is, no one should favour ripping children out of their parents’ arms ….” Democratic Congressman Earl Blumenauer told reporters after visiting the detention center.