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Amid coronavirus outbreak, US to deport 161 Indian nationals in this week

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Washington, May 18: This week, the United States would deport as many as 161 Indian nationals, most of whom had entered the country from its southern border with Mexico and have exhausted all legal options. A special chartered flight would take the Idian nationals to Punjab's Amritsar.

indian nationals

According to reports, among those on the list to be deported are the maximum of 76 from Haryana, 56 from Punjab, 12 from Gujarat, five from Uttar Pradesh and four from Maharashtra. Also, two each from Kerala, Telengana and Tamil Nadu and one each from Andhra Pradesh and Goa will be deported.

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According to Satnam Singh Chahal, executive director, North American Punjabi Association (NAPA), they are from among the 1,739 Indians languishing in 95 jails across the US. They were arrested by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement or ICE while trying to enter the United States illegally.

According to an ICE report, the US deported 611 Indian nationals in 2018, which rose over two-and-a-half times to 1,616 in 2019. NAPA said among the 161 to be deported to India, three are women. The youngest of them are two 19-year-old youths from Haryana.

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"The fate of the remaining Indians languishing in the US jails is still unknown," Chahal said. Though there is no data to show from which Indian states those languishing in the US jails came, most of them are believed to be from North India.

Most detainees had asked for asylum, claiming that they experienced violence or persecution in their home country. Over the past a few years, US judges did not buy their argument and dismissed their applications.

Chahal, who has been working among them for years, alleged that there is a nexus of human traffickers and officials in north India, especially Punjab, who encourage young people to leave their homes and illegally enter the US. These middlemen and agents charge Rs 35-50 lakh from each individual.

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