[WNYC, NYC Public Radio | The Takeaway]
Indian Migrants are Also Caught Up in the Immigration Enforcement System
Deepak Ahluwalia, an immigration attorney based in California and Texas joined us to talk about what his Indian immigrant clients have been telling him about their situation.
A growing number of California detainees are Indians crossing through Mexico to seek asylum
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.
And many have seen their asylum claims denied.
From fiscal years 2012 to 2017, about 42% of asylum cases from India were rejected, clearinghouse records show.
“I ask, ‘Why not stay in Mexico?’” said immigration attorney Deepak Ahluwalia. “They see us as the traditional country that has helped the persecuted.”
DEFENDING A STATELESS CLIENT
"Because the United States lacks a consistent legal framework for recognizing stateless persons and addressing their specific political and economic needs, stateless persons in deportation proceedings are typically treated the same as other non-US citizens, even though stateless persons have no country to which they can be deported." - Center for Migration Studies
One of our firm's victory this month involved a complicated and challenging case. In April 2016, our client was picked up by ICE and put into removal proceedings and was to be removed to Nigeria. Our client has no ties to Nigeria and has lived in the U.S. for as long as she can remember. She was told by her grandmother (since deceased) while growing up in the U.S. in the 1980's that she was born in the United States. A few years back, our client's ex-husband somehow produced a Nigerian birth certificate to the federal government and had our client arrested for fraud and identity theft. After taking an ill-advised plea bargain, and completing her sentence in federal prison, OUR client was taken into custody by ICE agents and that is when the family came to Singh Ahluwalia Immigration Law Firm. Mr. Ahluwalia had the Nigerian birth certificate examined before the Nigerian Consulate and it turned out to be a fraudulent document. With this, Mr. Ahluwalia filed a Motion to Terminate the proceedings and argued, among other things, that his client cannot be removed to Nigeria based on the fake birth certificate. The government opposed and filed a brief arguing that our client's plea bargain in Federal Court was sufficient proof that the client was from Nigeria and that she should be sent back. Finally, after several months, the Judge issued a written decision this past week and terminated the proceedings against our client. As of yesterday, she is finally back at home after being away from her family for several years.
"Many choose to flee to the U.S., Ahluwalia said. But he could not say why more appear to be coming across the Arizona border, pointing out that it is often up to the smugglers to pick the route. Once here, however, many turn themselves over at the border seeking asylum, claiming they fear they will be harmed if they return to their country, Ahluwalia said."
[Link to article]
"America's Quiet Crackdown On Indian Immigrants" by Buzzfeed
This month, Buzzfeed published an in-depth and extensive discussion about the immigration experiences of undocumented Sikhs. The article discusses how the U.S. government has moved aggressively to prevent undocumented Indians from entering the United States, many of whom are Sikhs fleeing political repression or economic collapse at home.