Indians have been jailed under Trump’s new policy against illegal immigration.
As the new immigration policy of the Trump administration kicked in, 52 people from India have been thrown into a federal prison in Oregon. They have been separated from their wives and children.
Most of them are from Punjab and Haryana and speak only Hindi and Punjabi. Many of them have identified themselves as Sikhs or Christians fleeing religious persecution from the Hindu majority.
Sikhs and Christians do not face any religious persecution in Punjab or Haryana, but that is the general reason given to seek asylum.
The Indians and a few Chinese have been incarcerated under the Trump administration’s tough “zero-tolerance” policy against illegal immigration, according to Asia-Pacific American Network of Oregon.
The jailed migrants told a team of politicians that they are locked up for 22 to 23 hours a day, three crammed not into each cell. They said they have no idea where their wives or children are, and they fear they’ll be deported and separated from them forever.
Over the last month, 123 immigrants seeking asylum have been detained and transferred to Oregon’s Sheridan federal prison in Yamhill County. Fifty-two listed India as their home country.
The Asia-Pacific American Network of Oregon indicated that the detention involved separating children from parents but did not say how many were affected.
Overall, 2000 kids have been separated from their families. Though this has received wide coverage, the detention of Indian immigrants hardly catches national attention since most of the focus is on Latino/Hispanic immigration. But the Oregon episode came to light after four members of Oregon’s congressional delegation went to the Sheridan jail and came out highly angry and emotional.
“This is a shameful hour in US history,” said US Representative Earl Blumenauer. “I don’t care what your stance on immigration is, no one should favour ripping children out of their parents’ arms…”
Red-faced, with tears streaming down his cheeks, TV footage showed Blumenauer unable to continue his comments.