More than 140 Indians, including 3 women, were deported from Arizona in the United States landed at the New Delhi international airport last week. Majority of these deported Indians, who are in the age group of 25-35, hail from Punjab and Haryana and a few from Gujarat.
The first feeling Ravinder Singh, 25, had on touching down at Delhi was a sense of relief over his wrists and legs being untied before he stepped out of the chartered plane at IGI Airport. But he soon sobered up when he remembered the money his father had spent both on getting him to the United States and then trying to get him freed from a detention camp for illegal migrants there.
It was a humiliating return journey for them, trussed up as they were like common criminals during the flight from Arizona to Delhi, via Dhaka. These Indians had paid agents around Rs 25,00,000 each to clandestinely enter the US through different borders. While some had gone through Equador and other South American countries, there were others who went through Greece, Italy and other European countries. Some had even worked for a while before being detected by immigration authorities in Arizona, California, Texas, Georgia, New Jersey and Mississippi and confined to migrant camps, where they claimed living conditions were challenging. After landing, the deportees were questioned by officials of the Intelligence Bureau and the Foreigners Regional Registration Office.
Their 24-hour-long flight departed from Arizona and reached Delhi after a brief stopover in Dhaka to deplane 25 Bangladeshi deportees. Immigration officials said the 145 Indians did not possess documents making them eligible to stay in America and had been detained in immigration camps set up after the Trump administration nudged the American states to halt the flow of illegal immigrants into the country. On October 18, as many as 311 Indian deportees, escorted by 60 security personnel, arrived in New Delhi in a Boeing 747 that took off from Toluca City international airport in Mexico. Most of these belonged to Punjab and Haryana and many were caught when they were just metres away from crossing over to the US.