Indians comprise 3rd largest illegal immigrant population in US

Several South Asian American scholars have expressed concerns that the rise in Indian undocumented immigration might be linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi's treatment of minorities in India

Hyderabad: The third-largest community of illegal immigrants in the United States is from India, with a significant surge in undocumented Indians observed in recent years. The US Customs and Border Protection reported approximately 96,917 interactions with undocumented Indian migrants in 2023.

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Recently, in response to a question asked in Rajya Sabha, Minister of State for external affairs, V Muraleedharan, provided shocking statistics: From over 1,500 detentions a decade ago to a little less than 10,000 until 2019, the number has mounted to around one lakh in 2023.

Pew Research Center’s data indicates Mexico and El Salvador have the highest immigrant populations in the US, while India ranks third. States like California, Texas, Florida, New York, New Jersey, and Illinois have significant concentrations of undocumented immigrants. Recent fluctuations in these numbers have been noted, with some states experiencing an increase while others witnessed a decrease in undocumented immigrant populations.

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“Why would you wait for a visitor visa in Delhi if you can make it faster to the southern border,” NBC quoted a lawyer and director of the non-partisan research group Migration Policy Institute’s based in New York.

Unauthorised immigrants constitute a notable portion of the US labour force, estimated to be around 4.6% in 2021. As the US presidential elections approach, the issue of illegal border crossings gains prominence among American voters. Former President Donald Trump has attributed the surge in undocumented immigrants to President Joe Biden’s changes in immigration policies.

Several South Asian American scholars have expressed concerns that the rise in Indian undocumented immigration might be linked to Prime Minister Narendra Modi’s treatment of minorities in India, including Muslims, Sikhs, and Christians.

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