54 Indians deported back from US to India in April


Fifty-four Indians were deported back from the US in April and another set of Indians from the country will be sent back to India this month, a top US official said.

“India has improved its timeliness in issuing travel documents to its citizens under final orders of removal,” Michele Thoren Bond, assistant secretary of state for consular affairs, told lawmakers during a Congressional hearing on repatriation of convicted criminal aliens.

“Fifty-four Indian citizens returned home on an ICE charter flight in April 2016, and the Government of India is scheduling a July, 2016 charter as well,” Bond said.

ICE stands for US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

“We are encouraged that India is on a positive trajectory, and we intend to remain engaged on this issue with India through newly established quarterly meetings to address difficult cases and ensure processes are smooth and efficient,” Bond said.

Last month, Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley said in a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson that as many as 23 countries, including India and China, are non-cooperative in not taking back illegal immigrants from the US and asked the Obama Administration to initiate action against them by discontinuing to issue immigrant and non-immigrant visas to them.

Bond said the State Department and the Department of Homeland Security are working closely with the Indian government to maintain and build on this progress.

“We will continue to raise this issue with Indian officials at appropriate levels, including at the upcoming US-India Homeland Security Dialogue, which is scheduled to take place in Washington in late July 2016,” he said.

Bond said he would travel to New Delhi in August for the annual consular bilateral dialogue.

“As in past years, I will raise this issue with the Indians, and press for immediate action on the part of the Indian government to issue travel documents and accept the return of its citizens under final orders of removal,” he said.



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