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    “149,000 Indians Attempted Illegal Entry into US in Pursuit of American Dream between 2019 and 2023”

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    Many Indians from Gujarat and Punjab have been caught trying to enter the US illegally through Mexico or Canada, with some even dying due to harsh weather conditions. According to a report from the US Customs and Border Protection (USCBP), as many as 149,000 Indians were caught between February 2019 and March 2023. In January 2022, 5,459 Indians were caught illegally entering the US, with 708 caught along the US-Canada border. The numbers have risen by 35.9%, with 7,421 being caught in January 2023.

    Indians were detained during 2,663 attempted border crossings either from Canada or Mexico. However, they make up only 2% of people detained for trying to enter the US illegally, and the rate of deportation remains low. Those detained are mostly from Gujarat and Punjab. Many of those deported get refuge on humanitarian grounds, and even if they lose their cases in court due to the system which is burdened by backlogs.

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    Despite the dangers, Indians continue to enter the US illegally. The US border patrol caught 9,648 Indian asylum-seekers, with at least 2,289 trying to enter via the US-Canada border. There are also incidents where several Indians, including minors have died. A family of four from Gujarat’s Dingucha froze to death on the Canada-US border in -35­°C in January last year. In March this year, an Indian family of four from Gujarat’s Mehsana drowned when their boat capsized in the St Lawrence river. In December 2022, another man from Gujarat fell to his death as he, his wife and his three-year-old son were scaling the Trump wall on the US-Mexico border.

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    Despite these incidents, Indians continue to be lured by the “American Dream”. The US remains the world’s most popular destination for asylum-seekers since 2017. However, the Gujarat police are cracking down on organised trafficking groups.

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