In recent estimations, it is reported that approximately 3.5 crore Indians currently reside abroad, with 5 million in the United States alone. The United Arab Emirates hosts 3.5 million Indians, while Saudi Arabia has 2.5 million people of Indian origin.
The United Kingdom houses fifteen million, Canada seven million, and various other countries like Germany, New Zealand, Italy, and France accommodate around twenty-three lakh Indians. Surprisingly, 50-60 thousand individuals of Indian origin have chosen to settle in China, despite the historical conflicts between the two nations. The Indian diaspora is categorized into two groups: those born in India and settled abroad, and those of Indian origin residing overseas.
In recent years, there has been a fivefold increase in the rate of infiltration by Indians, according to the latest data from the American Customs and Border Protection. Over the past year, 97 thousand Indians attempted to enter the US illegally, with 41 thousand trying through the Mexico-US border and over 30 thousand attempting entry from Canada. This surge in infiltration attempts highlights a concerning trend.
In the fiscal year 2019-20, 19,883 Indians were apprehended for illegal immigration. Despite the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020, a staggering 21 lakh Indian citizens attempted to cross the American border, leading to their repatriation to India. In 2021, the number of infiltration attempts rose to 61,927, with 27,000 individuals attempting entry from Canada and 17,000 choosing the Mexico-US border.
The trend continued to escalate in 2022-23, nearing one lakh infiltration attempts. The American agency categorized infiltrators into four groups: children, families, lone individuals, and single-parent groups. Notably, 84 thousand Indians, aged between 22 and 38, entered the US alone.
The surge in Indian immigration has sparked heavy criticism in the United States. American politicians, media, and think tanks have expressed concern about the increasing number of Indian infiltrators. Republican Party MP James Lankford suggested that Indians are immigrating to the US due to job scarcity and insecurity in India. He claimed that 45,002 Indians crossed the southern US border last year, contributing to job market challenges for Americans.
The American media also weighed in on the matter, attributing the rise in Indian immigration to increased religious discrimination, changing political landscapes, and dwindling economic opportunities in India. The accusation suggests that a large number of Indians, especially the youth, seek refuge in the United States and other Western countries due to these challenges.
As the issue gains prominence, the Republican Party’s stance on Indian immigration is becoming increasingly aggressive, echoing concerns raised by former President Donald Trump during the 2016 election. The serious allegations from American media regarding religious discrimination and economic challenges in India add to the complexity of the situation. The rising number of infiltration attempts by Indians has become a significant concern, prompting a broader discourse on the reasons behind this trend.