Skip to main content

Rise in US border arrests of Indians: Detainees seeking asylum "cite" politico-religious persecution in India

US-Mexico border
By Rajiv Shah
An explosive report by the US newspaper “Los Angles Times” (LAT) has revealed, quoting Federal Bureau of Prisons figures, that of the 680 migrants detained in early August at the federal prison in Victorville, California, a state in south-western US, a whopping 380 were Indian nationals. LAT adds, about 40% of the detainees at Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s Imperial Valley facility, also in California, are Indians, and nearly 20% of detainees at ICE Adelanto processing centre, again in California, too, are Indians.
Visiting the Victorville prison, says the report, US Representative Mark Takano was also surprised to find that, of hundreds of immigrants detained there, possibly 40% had traveled from India seeking asylum.
“From fiscal years 2012 to 2017, about 42% of asylum cases from India were rejected, clearinghouse records show”, says the report, adding, “Asylum seekers are not being granted asylum as easily as they were before.”
“So far during the 2018 fiscal year, 4,197 of those arrested by Border Patrol agents have been Indian nationals, according to data from Syracuse University's Transactional Records Access Clearinghouse”, the report states.
Number of Indian nationals arrested by US border patrol 
Sarah Parvini, a Pulitzer Prize winning journalist, reporting this, believes, increase in the number of Indian migrant detainees is the direct result of “an increase in recent years of Indian nationals crossing into the US through Mexico”, though adding, as of today, they represent “a small percentage of those detained overall.”
“Not all of the men spoke English”, report says, adding, Takano was told that they “were supporters of two different political parties and had been persecuted by India’s governing Bharatiya Janata Party.” Takano quoted the Indian detainess as saying “they were often bullied into doing things that were immoral… They would have to carry drugs, perpetrate violence against others.”
“Detainees from India have cited an increase in political and religious persecution as their reasons for seeking asylum,” the report says, quoting Sukhwinder (full name not used “for fear of retribution”), an immigrant from Punjab, as an example.
Twenty-year-old, who had spent two months inside the Imperial Valley centre, Sukhwinder tells LAT that he “fled India after being attacked late last year by a group of men who stepped out of their car and asked him why he hadn’t joined the BJP, the party of Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist government. When he told them he did not support their cause, they pummeled him with hockey sticks and threatened to kill him the next time they crossed paths.”
The buffer zone in the 3,144.66 km-long US-Mexico border
“Fearing for his life”, continues the report, “Sukhwinder’s parents sold gold and part of their wheat farm to get him a visa and a ticket to Mexico – in hopes that he could seek asylum in the US. At the end of a five-day journey from Mexico City, he and a handful of other Indian nationals jumped the border wall in Baja California and were arrested by authorities on the US side near Calexico.”
LAT report asserts, “After the first assault by supporters of the governing Hindu nationalist party, Sukhwinder said, police threatened to bring up a false charge against him if he spoke out against that party again”, a treatment noted by a 2018 Human Rights Watch (HRW) report, which said, “Mob attacks by extremist Hindu groups affiliated with the ruling BJP against minority communities, especially Muslims, continued throughout the year amid rumors that they sold, bought, or killed cows for beef.”
“Instead of taking prompt legal action against the attackers, police frequently filed complaints against the victims under laws banning cow slaughter”, added HRW.

Comments

mahesh said…

One of yr excellent reports. Should hit the nail on the head of saffronites!

Keep it up!

Mahesh Trivedi
Uma said…
How far will the saffronites and their henchmen, the police, will go is any body's guess. With national elections approaching, things might get worse.

TRENDING

Top upper caste judges 'biased' towards Dalit colleagues: US Bar Association report

By Rajiv Shah  A high profile report prepared by the influential  American Bar Association (ABA) Center for Human Rights , taking note of the fact that “in the 70-year history of the Indian Republic, only six Dalit judges have been appointed to the Supreme Court”, has taken strong exception to what it calls “lack of representation of Dalits” in the legal profession and the judiciary.

Savarkar 'criminally betrayed' Netaji and his INA by siding with the British rulers

By Shamsul Islam* RSS-BJP rulers of India have been trying to show off as great fans of Netaji. But Indians must know what role ideological parents of today's RSS/BJP played against Netaji and Indian National Army (INA). The Hindu Mahasabha and RSS which always had prominent lawyers on their rolls made no attempt to defend the INA accused at Red Fort trials.

Whither SDG goal? India's maternal mortality rate fall target 5.5% per yr, actual 4.5%

By Srinivas Goli, Parul Puri* The maternal mortality ratio (number of maternal deaths per one lakh live births) is a key and sensitive parameter used by health policymakers to monitor maternal health conditions in particular and women's status in general in a country.

Fresh efforts to subsume Buddhism within Hindu fold 'undermining' Ambedkar

By Aviral Anand*  From Yeola in 1935, when Dr Ambedkar announced that he would not die a Hindu, to Nagpur in 1956 when he converted to Buddhism, is a considerable distance in time. But, there was in him a need to make a public announcement in 1935 about moving away from Hinduism. 

Unlike other revolutionaries, Hindutva icon wrote 5 mercy petitions to British masters

By Shamsul Islam*  The Hindutva icon VD Savarkar of the RSS-BJP rulers of India submitted not one, two,or three but five mercy petitions to the British masters! Savarkarites argue: “There are no evidences to prove that Savarkar collaborated with the British for his release from jail. In fact, his appeal for release was a ruse. He was well aware of the political developments outside and wanted to be part of it. So he kept requesting for his release. But the British authorities did not trust him a bit” (YD Phadke, ‘A complex Hero’, "The Indian Expres"s, August 31, 2004)

Buddhist shrines were 'massively destroyed' by Brahmanical rulers: Historian DN Jha

Nalanda mahavihara By Our Representative Prominent historian DN Jha, an expert in India's ancient and medieval past, in his new book , "Against the Grain: Notes on Identity, Intolerance and History", in a sharp critique of "Hindutva ideologues", who look at the ancient period of Indian history as "a golden age marked by social harmony, devoid of any religious violence", has said, "Demolition and desecration of rival religious establishments, and the appropriation of their idols, was not uncommon in India before the advent of Islam".

Reverse progress in fight against hunger? 15.3% of India undernourished: GHI

By Harchand Ram*  Every year October 16 is observed as World Food Day to celebrate the date of the founding of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. In the year 2021, the theme for World Food Day is “Our actions are our Future-Better Production, better nutrition, a better environment, and a better life”.

Savarkar 'opposed' Bhagat Singh's, Netaji's dream of India, supported British war efforts

By Shamsul Islam* In a shocking development, the student wing of the RSS put the busts of martyrs Bhagat Singh and Subhash Chandra Bose with Savarkar's on one pedestal at the University of Delhi late in the night on August 20, 2019. Bhagat Singh sacrificed his life for a socialist-democratic-secular republic and Netaji raised Azad Hind Fauj (INA) consisting of people of all religions and regions for armed liberation of India.

Global Hunger Index: Govt of India response pathetic, 'lacks' scientific empirical evidence

By Fr Cedric Prakash SJ* Come 16 October – and the world once again focused on the most basic need for a person’s survival: food! The first World Food Day was observed in 1994, to mark the launch of the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) of the United Nations. Ever since, the day is marked to highlight the need and importance of food security across the world. The significance is accentuated especially in these difficult times like the C-19 povidandemic. The theme for 2021 is ‘Safe Food Now for a Healthier Tomorrow’, emphasising on the various immediate and long-term benefits of consuming safe and healthy food.

Failure of 'trickle down theory' behind India's poor Global Hunger Index rating

By Dr Gian Singh*  On October 14, 2021, two organisations, Concern Worldwide (An Irish aid agency) and WeltHungerHilfe (a German organization that researches the problem of global hunger), jointly published the Global Hunger Index (GHI) for 2021. These organizations have included 116 countries in the world hunger rankings.