DHS Report: 270,000 Indians In U.S. Illegally

Title: DHS report: 270,000 Indians in U.S. illegally

Source: India New England
URL Source: http://www.indianewengland.com/ME2/dirmod.asp? sid=&nm=&type=Publishing&mod=Publications%3A%3AArticle
Published: Oct 15, 2007
Post Date: 2007-10-15 22:44:31 by Willie Green

Immigrants from India continue to make up the fastest growing undocumented population in the United States, according to a recently released report by the Department of Homeland Security.

The number of undocumented immigrants from India increased by 125 percent over the last six years, jumping from 120,000 in 2000 to 270,000 in 2006.

The rise in the number of Indians living in the United States without proper papers makes the population the sixth largest undocumented group after those from Mexico, El Salvador, Guatemala, the Philippines and Honduras, states the report.

When you think about the immigration patterns of people from India to this country, its not surprising that these numbers are on the rise, especially over the past six to seven years, said Deepa Iyer, director of the Maryland-based nonprofit South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow, which advocates for civil-rights and leadership development for South Asians.

Iyer and several others knowledgeable about the South Asian immigrant population in the United States speculate that most undocumented Indians are likely people who have overstayed their visas after legal entry into the United States. The population, they say, is likely composed of workers who have lost their jobs and their legal status, international students who have lessened their course load below the legal requirement for student visas and tourists who stayed after they were supposed to return home.

In addition, said Iyer, many South Asians have received extra security scrutiny since the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks, delaying the processing of immigration applications, which could contribute to the problem.

Its also likely that a large number of undocumented Indian immigrants might actually be waiting in line for legal status, but are viewed as unauthorized aliens because of a glitch in the U.S. immigration laws, according to Muzaffar Chishti, a New York-based director of the Migration Policy Institute, a nonpartisan think tank in Washington D.C. that studies world migration.

To the extent that there is any explanation, I think it has a lot to do with the way our immigration selection system has operated in the last five or six years, said Chishti, who is also a lawyer.

The current undocumented population of Indians in the United States likely originated during the technology bubble of the late 1990s and early 2000, when many Indians moved to the United States for dotcom jobs but were later laid-off when the employers went out of business.

Around the same time, in 2001, a new immigration law provision called 245(i) was extended to allow some immigrants a temporary opportunity to bypass certain laws regarding adjustment of status.

The 245(i) provision briefly let recently out-of-status immigrants apply for legal residency while in the United States. Under typical circumstances, such immigrants would be required to leave the country immediately after losing legal status and reapply from their home country or face penalties barring them from entry to the U.S. for up to 10 years.

“It is my guess that a lot of Indians, because they were relatively qualified, educated and have good networks in the employer community, did file their labor certification applications before the Section 245(i) deadline. But that doesn't make them documented, obviously, because they ran out of their nonimmigrant visa. They're waiting in this long queue to get permanent residence. So, while they're waiting in that queue, they're undocumented.”

Iyer, director of South Asian Americans Leaders of Tomorrow, said that there needs to be a long term solution for the growing undocumented population, both of Indians and others. Whats needed are changes to U.S. immigration laws, said Iyer, who provided written testimony for the Congressional immigration subcommittee during this past spring's failed immigration reform proposal.

Some changes she called for include eliminating employment and family-based visa backlogs, providing a way for undocumented or illegal immigrants to gain legal status, and an increase in the number of family reunification visas. Iyer said that many social problems can arise when there are large undocumented populations who fear deportation.

Others, however, who prefer to limit immigration, see tougher enforcement of existing laws as the answer to the jump in unauthorized aliens.

Steven Camarota, director of research at the Center for Immigration Studies, said hes seen no evidence that the United States should let in more skilled workers from places such as India.

Traditionally we havent thought of India as a country of illegal immigration, but were going to have to maybe reconsider that now, said Camarota, noting that many undocumented immigrants from India are highly educated, unlike most of their counter parts from Mexico and Latin America.

If we want to have less illegal immigration from India, then we have to think about strategies that focus on the monitoring of temporary visa holders and interior enforcement strategies.

Camarota, who said stricter work-site enforcement is needed, criticized visa enforcement and border security in the U.S.

I dont know anybody who thinks were doing enough to enforce the law to prevent undocumented immigration, he said.

Veronica Nur Valdes, spokeswoman for the Homeland Security Department of Homeland Security, however, said the department is doing its best to reduce illegal immigration, whether its from workers from India who overstay visas or people crossing the border from Mexico.

“At DHS, it's our priority to ensure that we are enforcing the rule of law, and that includes people who break our laws by coming here illegally, and those who overstay visas and are not in compliance with the statutes that were given to them,” said Valdes.

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1. To: Willie Green (#0)

said that many social problems can arise when there are large undocumented populations who fear deportation.

Actually the reverse is true — it's far worse when there are large illegal populations who don't fear deportation.

fitz posted on 2007-10-15 22:47:19 ET Reply Trace

2. To: Willie Green (#0)

Over half of H-1(b) guestworker visas go to India – but Big Business says it needs more of them. Why are H-1(b)s needed at all if America is already so full of illegal aliens from the same nation, India? Put another way, why is MOG allowing India to dump its crisis-level underemployment onto the backs of America's downsized and America's recent college graduates?

Total Resistance – the official Swiss manual for civilian resistance to occupation.

glc1173 posted on 2007-10-16 00:08:02 ET Reply Trace

3. To: Willie Green (#0)

DHS report: 270,000 Indians in U.S. illegally

There's than many in the county east of me….of course them all coming after the year 2000 must mean it's Clinton's fault.

Moderate Mammal posted on 2007-10-16 00:14:17 ET Reply Trace

4. To: Moderate Mammal (#3)

That's what I've been saying for awhile.Asians are competing with Latinos to see which ones can send the most illegal aliens the fastest. And in the past 20 years,except for educated Asians, those not so educated,are not integrating into American society either. Besides Asian countries are competing with the West for world dominance and their religions see the West as the great Satan.

exxon posted on 2007-10-16 00:31:55 ET Reply Trace

5. To: fitz (#1)

The erasure of the US as a society continues at full speed.

JTIDSGUY posted on 2007-10-16 00:35:54 ET Reply Trace

6. To: Moderate Mammal (#3)

You're only seeing the tip of the iceberg. There is a large and flourishing alien smuggling operation based on “renting” passports and visas of legal immigrants — mostly Indians renting them out to an operation based in Bangladesh. The recipients are usually Pakistani and Bangladeshi. The going rate in 2001 when I was first told of the operation was around $15,000 to the passport holder. The charge to the illegal was about double that.

Most were brought in and put in jobs like the cheap jewelry/bling kiosks in shopping malls. A large number — somewhere between 100,000 and 200,000 — of these people self-deported shortly after 9/11, knowing that their documentation would not stand scrutiny.

JackelopeBreeder posted on 2007-10-16 00:37:08 ET Reply Trace

7. To: Moderate Mammal (#3)

Traditionally we havent thought of India as a country of illegal immigration, but were going to have to maybe reconsider that now, said Camarota, noting that many undocumented immigrants from India are highly educated, unlike most of their counter parts from Mexico and Latin America.

There is the contradiction of many people.They say they don't want foreigners,especially the illegal ones to displace Americans from job opportunities, but at the same time defend Asian immigrants on the basis of their higher education than Mexicans or other Latinos..

But, aren't Indians and other Asian immigrants, displacing more middle class Americans than illegal Mexican peasants who work in Agriculture and other low paying jobs?

exxon posted on 2007-10-16 00:42:16 ET Reply Trace