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Old February 7th, 2011, 05:25 AM
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Parijataka Parijataka is offline
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Smile Illegal immigrants from India sneaking into US from Mexico

Huge spike in illegal Indian traffic to US via Mexico

WASHINGTON: Hundreds, perhaps thousands, of Indians are sneaking into the United States across the Mexico border in what American authorities are saying is a sudden and unexpected spike in illegal immigration from a country half way across the world which is said to be in the throes of an economic boom.

More than 1,600 Indians have been caught since the influx began in early 2010, while an undetermined number, perhaps thousands, are believed to have slipped through undetected, according to US border authorities cited in an account by the Center for Investigative Reporting and published by the Los Angeles Times on Sunday.

The report said Indians are now the largest group of immigrants other than Latin Americans being caught at the Southwest border. The influx reportedly is showing signs of accelerating: About 650 Indians were arrested in southern Texas in the last three months of 2010 alone. The "mysterious and rapidly growing human-smuggling pipelineis backing up court dockets, filling detention centers and triggering investigations," the report added.

The Indians are said to be flying into Latin American and Central American countries such as Equador, Venezuela and Guatemala via Dubai before arriving on the Mexico-US border, where they cross the Rio Grande River and hole up in US border towns, where they are usually helped by fellow Indians. Mexican organized crime groups are also suspected of being involved either in running the operations or in charging groups tolls to pass through their territory.

According to the report, most of the immigrants, surprisingly, claim to be from the Punjab or Gujarat, two of Indias (relatively) more prosperous states, but also ones associated with enterprise.

Many of them are "Sikhs who say they face religious persecution, or members of the Bharatiya Janata Party who say they are targeted for beatings by members of the National Congress Party," the report said (!), while citing experts who maintained that political conditions in India offered no evidence of the kind of persecution that would prompt a mass exodus. The immigration, they said, is clearly driven by economic opportunities.

The spurt in Indian human traffic into the United States, borne out by the Tri-Valley University scam, would also belie the assumption in some quarters about an unprecedented Indian economic boom accompanied by a purported American decline.

The CIR/LA Times report said in January, immigration court calendars at the area's two main detention facilities were full of the common Indian surnames Patel and Singh, and attorneys and judges struggled to keep up. Some attorneys had failed to file the necessary forms; interpreters were not always available. One judge more immigration judges would soon be assigned to handle the increased workload.

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