While on the one hand there are people from Gujarat who don’t think twice before paying lakhs of rupees to unscrupulous human smugglers to fulfil their American dream, there is a growing number of Gujaratis who have sought asylum in the US citing political and community-based persecution.
According to a report in The Times Of India, the false claims of political and community-based persecution came to light in a probe by the Gujarat CID (Crime) into cases of human smuggling. Additional DGP, CID (Crime), Gujarat, RB Brahmbhatt was quoted in the report, “We have come across hundreds of cases where people from Gujarat have taken asylum in the US, mostly falsely claiming that they face persecution in the state. The individuals are seeking asylum based on political factors and instances of mistreatment by other communities.”
Authorities insisted that such claims of political persecution are false and created to take advantage of laws granting asylum in the US. Giving one example of such false claims, the authorities pointed to a recent video in which an American security officer is speaking to nine Indians who were caught trying to smuggle themselves into the US through the Mexico border. The officer questioned the individuals about their place of origin and they said they were Congress party workers from Gujarat.
“The illegal immigrants cross the border and court their arrest by approaching the security officers. They tell the US authorities it is a matter of life and death and seek asylum on humanitarian grounds. In most cases, the US authorities grant it to them. The human smugglers hire attorneys who appear for their ‘persecuted’ clients. The illegal immigrants do not utter more than what the human smugglers and attorneys have tutored them to reveal,” Brahmbhatt said.
Another officer quoted in the report said that the police have come across at least 500 families that sought asylum in the US. The death of a family of four from Dingucha village — Jagdish Patel, 39, his wife Vaishali, 37, and their children – daughter Vihangi, 11, and son Dharmik, 3 – whose bodies were found frozen on the Canada-US border last year, opened the can of worms regarding human smuggling of Gujarat residents into the US.
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