More Indians trying to enter the US illegally via South America and Canada

The main motive is to enter the US through two-three different routes and these include either through the US-Canada borders or through the US-Mexico border.

US border, US-Mexico border
This is the first time that news of illegal immigrants trying to enter the US through Canada came to light, as the prefered starting point is from South and Central America. (Photo source: Pixabay)

South America is always a common route for the illegal migrants to enter the USA by crossing the US-Mexico border. Illegal migrants fly to a country in the region, especially those which issue Visa on arrival or visa through their country of origin in an easy process. 

The main motive is to enter the US through two-three different routes and these include either through the US-Canada borders or through the US-Mexico border.

Earlier this year, an Indian family of four were found frozen to death in southern Manitoba near the US – Canada border. They were trying to walk into the US from a small town Emerson, 70 miles due south of Winnipeg. According to reports they had started walking with a group of five other Indians before they froze to death as the tempratures touched minus 30 degrees.

This is the first time that news of illegal immigrants trying to enter the US through Canada came to light, as the prefered starting point is from South and Central America.

Donkey

One common term `Donkey’, is used loosely to describe the way by which Indian migrants can enter another country illegally, and when it’s about the entry to the US, the most treacherous routes are identified for the illegal immigrant enter the US.

“The human traffickers charge from men and women, anywhere from $20,000 to $75,000,” explains Sandeep Wasnik, Business Consultant in Latin America. Adding, “These traffickers operate donkey flights, heading towards not only to the US but also to several European countries.”

The Route they take

Their treacherous and painful journey takes them through Panama Jungle — “The Darién Gap”, this is a lawless wilderness on the border of Colombia and Panama. The men and women who come from various regions across the globe including Asia, Africa, and from within South and Central America has it all from anti-government guerrillas to the deadly and poisonous snakes and other wild animals. This wilderness jungle accessible only on foot or by canoe all is also territorial break across the North and South American continents within Central America.

“Risking kidnapping, robbery and death, men, women and at times small children embark on this trek. Their handlers often choose not to share the risks they might face enroute to their dreamland,” says Sandeep wasnik.

According to a paper published in Migration Policy Institute, after getting off the buses in the Colombian towns of Turbo or Necoclí, the illegal migrants must cross the Gulf of Úraba, where local fishermen can be hired as smuggling facilitators. It takes 6-8 days on foot and almost 10 days during the rainy season to cross the deadly Darien Gap.

Most of the days it’s raining and is consistently 85 degrees Fahrenheit. Illegal migrants are left with no food or water to survive. If they are lucky to make their way through the jungles of Panama, then groups then move to Costa Rica, where, once more, they have to find their way through the dense forests before they can reach Mexico, from where they have to jump over the Mexico border to reach the United States.

Based on the information available in the public domain, there are 4.6 million Indian Americans and they comprise the 2nd largest Asian group in the US, which is nearly 21 per cent of this number, 525000 are undocumented immigrants.

In 2021, 2588 Indian nationals were caught by the US authorities at the Mexico border; the number was large even before the pandemic. In 2019, the number of Indian detainees was nearly 7,600 and in 2007 it was only 76 Indians. But on the other side, these 525000 undocumented Indians or illegal Indian migrants were holding a collective spending power of USD15.5 billion and contribute USD2.8 billion to the federal, state and local tax revenue of U.S.

According to US Customs and Border Protection, the total number of undocumented migrants apprehend at Southwest Land border by US Border Patrol (USBP) and Office of Field Operations (OFO) in 2022 FYTD (Oct 2021 to Apr 2022) were 1295900 from all over the world, where in 2021 (Oct 2020 till Sep2021) were 1734686, 2020 (Oct 2019 till Sep2020) were 458088, 2019 (Oct 2018 till Sep 2019) were 977509. These numbers clearly shows the undocumented migrants are gradually rising every year.

On the other hand, the total number of undocumented Indian migrants apprehended at Southwest Land border by US Border Patrol (USBP) and Office of Field Operations (OFO) in 2022 FYTD (Oct 2021 to Apr 2022) were 8119 Indian, in 2021 (Oct 2020 till Sep 2021) were 2588, 2020 (Oct 2019 till Sep 2020) were 1120.

In 2022, undocumented Indian migrants surprisingly increased, numbers of undocumented Indian migrants in three months are equal to the number of undocumented Indian migrants in 2021 (October 2020 to September 2021) which is 2588.

On the US Northern Land Border, the total number of undocumented Indian migrants apprehend at Northern Land Border by US Border Patrol (USBP) and Office of Field Operations (OFO) in 2022 FYTD (Oct 2021 to Apr 2022) were 5700 Indians, where in 2021 (Oct 2020 till Sep 2021) were 2225, 2020 (Oct 2019 till Sep 2020) were 3128.

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