NEW DELHI: More than 300 Indian nationals who paid tens of thousands of dollars each trying to get into the United States arrived in New Delhi on Friday after an “unprecedented” mass deportation by Mexico.
The move, which saw those deported flown back to the capital on a charter flight, follows a deal on illegal migration struck between Mexico and US President Donald Trump in June.
The only woman in the group of 311 people, Kamaljit Kaur, 34, told the Press Trust of India news agency she spent 5.3 million rupees ($74,500) for herself, her husband and her son.
Another, 19-year-old Mandeep Singh, said he travelled through seven countries in his attempt to make it to the US, beginning in Ecuador and trekking through harsh terrain and seeing corpses on the way.
“For seven days, we walked through the dense jungles of Panama. We finally reached Mexico on Sept 12. We were just 800 kilometres away from the US before the Mexican authorities hauled and deported us,” he told PTI.
Mexico’s National Migration Institute said the Indian nationals were all adults, and that this was the first time that so many people had been sent back across the Atlantic in one day.
The deportation was “unprecedented”, it said.
“Under the new administration, we are trying to have a more orderly process of immigration,” Mexico’s ambassador to India Federico Salas told NDTV television.
“The Mexican government is exercising a policy that is within the legal framework and with full respect to the human rights of migrants.”
Published in Dawn, October 19th, 2019