Government verifying list of ‘illegal’ Indians in the US

Admitting that the Trump administration has listed 271 Indians allegedly living in the US ‘illegally’, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj tells Rajya Sabha the list is being verified

Photo by Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustan Times via Getty Images
Photo by Virendra Singh Gosain/Hindustan Times via Getty Images


Rajya Sabha was informed on Thursday that the United States has indeed submitted a list of 271 people claiming they were illegal migrants from India. But the Indian Government had not yet accepted it and would allow their deportation only after proper verification, Union minister for External Affairs Sushma Swaraj reassured MPs.

"We have not accepted this list and have sought more details. We have said that it is only after we verify the details, can we issue an emergency certificate for their deportation," the External Affairs Minister said.

Addressing concerns by members during the Question Hour in Rajya Sabha, she said it would not be correct to say that there has been a change in US policies after the Trump administration has come to power.

Several members expressed concern over the effects of the steps being taken by the Donald Trump administration on Indian citizens including skilled professionals living there.

Referring to skilled workers, Swaraj said regarding H1B and L1 visas for professionals, four bills have come to the US Congress but they have not been passed.

She said the government was engaging with the US at the highest level to ensure that interests of Indian people or the IT industry are not affected.

"We are conveying to them that IT professionals are not stealing jobs but contributing to the US economy and making it stronger," the Minister said.

Even in 2012, a figure had come that 11.43 migrants lived there, of whom 2.60 lakh were Indians. "We did not accept the figure because it cannot be considered authentic without thorough verification," she said.

She said "there are no authentic figures on the number of undocumented Indian immigrants in the US".

On H1B visas, she said there have been "flip-flops" in the past and the number of these visas rose from 65,000 to 1.95 lakh and then again went down to 65,000. "It is not that all these changes have happened only after the Trump administration has taken over," she said.

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