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Nearly 97,000 Indians Held Trying to Enter Illegally Between Oct 2022 and Sept 2023: US Border Protection Agency

Of the 96,917 Indians arrested between October 2022 and September this year, 30,010 were caught on the Canadian border and 41,770 at the frontier with Mexico.

Image for representational purpose. Credit: Centre for Migration Studies

Washington: A record 96,917 Indians were arrested while crossing illegally into the US between October 2022 and September 2023, according to the latest US Customs and Border Protection (UCBP) data.

Indians apprehended while crossing the US border unlawfully have reportedly witnessed a five-fold increase in the past years.

In 2019-20, 19,883 Indians were apprehended. In 2020-21, 30,662 Indians were arrested while in 2021-22 this number was 63,927, according to the data.

Of the 96,917 Indians arrested between October 2022 and September this year, 30,010 were caught on the Canadian border and 41,770 at the frontier with Mexico.

Those arrested are classified under four categories — Accompanied Minors (AM), Individuals in a Family Unit (FMUA), Single Adults, and Unaccompanied Children (UC).

Single adults make up the largest category. In fiscal year 2023, 84,000 Indian adults crossed into the US illegally. 730 unaccompanied minors were among the arrested people.

The US federal government's fiscal year runs from October 1 to September 30.

Meanwhile, Senator James Lankford said on the Senate floor on Thursday that these people take about four flights including through countries like France to be able to get to Mexico, the closest airport, and then literally take a bus rented by the cartels up to the border to be dropped off for their last delivery.

"So they can say, ‘I have fear in my country,” Lankford said. “So far this year we’ve had 45,000 people from India that have crossed our southern border, paid the cartels, crossed into our country, and said they have fear in their country from India,” Lankford said.

Lankford reiterated what he’s said many times, that the criminal cartels in Mexico are coaching migrants from all over the world on what to say and where to go in order to “game” the asylum process and get into the country while they await an asylum hearing.

“Listen this doesn’t make sense to just about everyone in the world. Just about everyone in the world has shifted on this except for us. We’re literally inviting people from all over the world to exploit our system,” he said in his remarks about America’s broken asylum system and the areas that need to be addressed in policy.

Lankford said asylum is the same as refugee status. It’s the same in international law. A refugee flees to a spot who is afraid and gets to a refugee centre and says to the UN, ‘I have dramatic fear of persecution in my country,’ and if they do, then they actually share them all over the world including here in the United States.

“We take refugees here from all over the world. Asylum seekers are on the same standard. They’re supposed to go to the next safe place, get there, and request asylum. That is the international standard, but we don’t do that here,” he said. 

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