On a flight chartered by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 71 from Haryana and 67 from Punjab there were around 12 from Gujarat, five from Uttar Pradesh and four from Maharashtra.
Even as several thousand stranded Indians are returning on special flights and onboard Indian Navy ships, las month the US deported around 167 Indians who had entered that country illegally
On a flight chartered by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) 71 from Haryana and 67 from Punjab there were around 12 from Gujarat, five from Uttar Pradesh and four from Maharashtra. Also, there were two eac from Kerala, Telengana and Tamil Nadu and one each from Andhra Pradesh and Goa will be deported. And th flight had landed straight at the Amritsar Airport.
Most of the illegal immigrants from India were detained by the US Customs and Border Protection in Texas when they tried to enter illegally through Mexico. Onboard the ICE flight there were deportees from New York, Atlanta and San Francisco & Texas.
From among those who have been deported, some had jumped over the border wall from the Mexico side and they were arrested and spent time in detention centres in New York, Texas, Atlanta and San Francisco. So far, according to reports, the ICE has arrested more than 1,700 illegal Indian immigrants and they are being held in various detention centres across that country. Most of these young Indians attempted to enter the US tried to get asylum on the grounds of `atrocities and persecution’ in India. However, they did not succeed.
As has been extensively reported by Financial Express Online, this not the first time that the illegal immigrants were deported on board a special flight from the US. In November 2019, around 145 Indians in which there were women too and prior to that in October around 117 Indians were deported from the US and another group of 311 was deported from Mexico in the same month.
Before boarding the outward chartered flight from the US, all of them had a rapid diagnostic test (Covid-19) conducted and on arrival in India, they were further screened and sent to a 14-day quarantine and those who tested positive were sent to special hospitals for treatment.
In its efforts to contain the spread of the global pandemic COVID-19, the US administration has been aggressively pushing its immigration enforcement procedure and has been deporting thousands of people to their home countries.
Despite the borders being sealed in the Central American countries to contain the spread of the COVID-19, all the migrants from Africa and the Caribbean who were stranded there tried to move towards the north to enter the US through Mexico. However, even those who have tested COVID-19 positive have been flown back by the ICE to countries like Guatemala, Honduras and El Salvador.
How do these young Indians travel to reach the US?
Most of them first pay huge amounts of money which is anything between Rs 20-25 lakh to the local agents in their home state who promise them big dreams in the US. Unfortunately, “It is not an easy way to reach the US. They have to go through difficult terrains, through dense jungles and putting their life at risk before they reach a point from where they enter the US illegally,” explained a top diplomat who wished to remain anonymous. “Most of these young men if they manage to enter without being caught easily get work in the Southern states of the US as farmhands. But if they get caught they are being deported,” he added.
These young boys who have given so much money to the local agents have to go through the dense jungle routes from various countries including El Salvador, Brazil, Honduras, Ecuador, Guatemala, and Mexico.
Upon return, the deported Indians maybe detained by the concerned authorities for questioning, for production of valid documents to establish their nationality and if they are not found to be involved in any criminal activity, then they are usually allowed to leave and no case is registered against such individuals.
Sharing his view with Financial Express Online, Arjun Dewan, Advocate, Delhi High Court says, “Indian law provides for freedom of movement, which includes the right to travel beyond the country, albeit within the framework of the law. Ordinarily, if a person is deported to India from a foreign jurisdiction, that person does not face any prosecution in India for the sole reason of being a deported individual in India. However, the treatment of a deported Indian upon return by Indian Authorities varies on a case to a case basis. A deported Indian will most likely be prosecuted if the deported individual violated the laws of India before his departure to a foreign jurisdiction or if the deported individual violated the law of a foreign jurisdiction and indulged in prohibited criminal activities before deportation. For the latter, Section 3 & 4 of the Indian Penal Code,1860 provides for the extraterritorial operation of the Code and makes such offenders (deported individuals) liable to be tried and punished in India.”
“The aforesaid provisions enable the government or any victim to prosecute such offenders in India for alleged crimes committed by them beyond the territory of India. Usually, the persons being deported are deported for violation of visa norms or illegal immigration and not for commission of serious or heinous crimes. Most foreign jurisdictions prosecute persons alleged to have committed crimes in their country as per their domestic laws,” Dewan explains.