Nearly 100 Indians, mostly from Punjab, have been detained in two detention centres in the United States of America for entering the country illegally through the country’s southern border.
The Indian mission in the US has established contact with two immigration detention centres. According to Press Trust of India, about 45 Indians are at a federal detention centre in the Southern American State of New Mexico and 52 Indians, mostly Sikhs and Christians, are held in Oregon.
“A consular official has visited the detention facility in Oregon and another one is scheduled to visit the detention facility in New Mexico. We are monitoring the situation,” the Indian Embassy said in a statement.
Most of the detainees in these centres are seeking for political asylum claiming that they “experienced violence or persecution” in their home country.
Immigration attorney Akansha Kalra told the wire agency that the largest number of Indians who enter the US illegally are from Punjab and Gujarat. At an event organised by the Hindu American Foundation early this week, Kalra said that young Indians in their 20s are crossing the border.
“They pay around Rs 35-40 lakhs to human smugglers just to help them cross the border. With this kind of administration’s policy, hopefully, they would get deterred by it. But so far they keep on coming,” she said.
The Indians usually get nabbed at the Mexico border, and they are shipped out to Pennsylvania, which has one of the largest of such detention facilities in the US.
Amidst widespread protests following the administration’s move to separate children from their parents who illegally enter the country, US President Donald Trump on Thursday reversed his controversial decision on immigration by signing an executive order to end the separation of immigrant families on the US-Mexico border.
“We’re keeping families together, and this will solve that problem,” Trump told reporters. “At the same time, we are keeping a very powerful border and it continues to be a zero-tolerance. We have zero tolerance for people that enter our country illegally,” he added.
Trump added: “And border security will be equal, if not greater than previously. We are going to have very strong borders, but we’re going to keep the families together.”
As per the order, the Department of Homeland Security have been entrusted with the task to keep families together while they await trial for illegally coming into the US.
The president also said he did not like the feeling of separating families.”It’s a problem that’s gone on for many years, as you know, through many administrations. We are working very hard on immigration. It’s been left out in the cold. People haven’t dealt with it, and we are dealing with it,” he said.