India has strongly taken up with the US deportation of its 14 students from San Francisco even as two California-based universities claimed they were not blacklisted by American authorities, a reason cited to deny entry to the Indian students.
“We have taken up deportation of Indian students admitted in SVU San Jose and NPU Freemont with US State Deptt. Their response is awaited,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said.
MEA spokesperson Vikas Swarup said that the matter has been raised very strongly with the US in both Delhi and Washington.
Air India had on Sunday night stopped 19 Indian students heading to the two Universities from boarding a flight to San Francisco citing a communication from US Customs and Border Protection agency which said that 14 Indian students have been deported as these varsities were “under scrutiny”.
“The students have been deported on the advise of the US Immigration Authority…. Air India is duty bound to follow their advise,” Swarup said.
The Air India, which had barred the students from boarding the flight to San Fransisco at Hyderabad’s Rajiv Gandhi International Airport, said it had taken the action so the students are not “inconvenienced”.
The airline has decided not to accept students headed to these universities till the time it got clearance from Air India’s US office for their travel.
Meanwhile, the two universities – Silicon Valley University and Northwestern Polytechnic University – said they have been told by the US Customs and Border Protection that they have not been blacklisted by the US Government or any of its agencies.
The two universities said that there has been increased security and questioning at the port of entry in view of the recent terrorist attacks in the country.
An Air India statement had said, “Air India received communication on December 19, 2015 from the US Customs and Border Protection agency that two universities namely Silicon Valley, San Jose, California and North Western Polytechnic College, Fremont, CA are under scrutiny and students who arrived into San Francisco were not allowed to enter the US and were deported back to India.”
The statement said so far 14 students who travelled on Air India flights to San Francisco have been deported.