Illegal Immigration From India Jumps 125 Percent

There are an estimated 270,000 illegal Indian immigrants in the United States, according to 2006 figures from the US Department of Homeland Security. With 125% percent increase from 2000 to 2006, India represents the fastest growing source of illegal immigrants to the United States, reports San Jose Mercury News, a major Silicon Valley newspaper. In absolute numbers, Central and South American nations account for the bulk of the estimated 11.5 million illegals, with India a distant second with 270,000 in 2006.



The vast majority of the estimated 2.5m Indians in the United States are legal immigrants with about a half of them with citizenship status. Highly educated with many in professionals such as doctors and engineers, Indians are a very affluent ethnic group whose median household income is 62% higher than the national average.

The top three geographies with the highest concentrations of Indians in the US are San Francisco Bay Area at number 1, New York/New Jersey/Connecticut area at number 2 and Chicago at number 3.

As the demand for high-tech workers in Silicon Valley has grown, so has the influx of Indians on H-1B visas. At 44%, Indians accounted for the lion's shares of H1B visas in 2005-06, five times the number from the second-place Chinese.

The estimated number of people of Pakistani origin in the United States is about 500,000. The top three geographies are NY/NJ/CT tri-state area, Chicago metropolitan area and Southern California. Pakistani Americans are the sixth largest Asian American ethnic group after Chinese, Filipinos, Indians, Vietnamese, Koreans, and Japanese communities. The demographics and socio-economic status of Pakistanis in the United States are quite similar to Indians'. Pakistan does not show up in the list of top 10 countries of origin for legal or illegal immigration to the United States.

New York Times estimate of 109,000 Pakistani-born American workers' occupations include salesmen, managers or administrators, drivers, doctors and accountants as the top five categories.

Comments

Riaz Haq said…
Over 50,000 Pakistanis have immigrated to the United States in the last 5 years, making Pakistanis ineligible fir the diversity visa lottery.

Here's an excerpt from America.gov on this subject:

This year, the entry period for the lottery lasts for 30 days, from October 5 to November 3. The lottery is open to individuals who meet certain education or work requirements and were born in an eligible country. Those whose names are selected by computerized random drawing are permitted to take the next steps in the visa application process.

“The idea was to diversify the immigrant pool,” said John Wilcock, a visa specialist with the State Department, in explaining the 1990 law that created the new class of “diversity immigrants.” He briefed journalists at Washington’s Foreign Press Center September 27.

The Diversity Visa Lottery is open to natives of countries that have sent fewer than 50,000 immigrants to the United States in the last five years. Countries that are the source of high numbers of immigrants are excluded from the lottery.

The ineligible countries are the same as last year: Brazil, Canada, China (mainland-born), Colombia, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Haiti, India, Jamaica, Mexico, Pakistan, Peru, the Philippines, Poland, South Korea, United Kingdom (except Northern Ireland) and its dependent territories, and Vietnam. People born in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region (SAR) of China, Macau SAR and Taiwan are eligible.

To ensure that 50,000 permanent resident visas are issued each year, Wilcock said, some additional names are selected in the lottery to make up for people who decide not to apply for a visa or don’t qualify.
Riaz Haq said…
Thousands of Indian illegal immigrants are slipping into Texas from Mexico, according to LA Times:

Reporting from Harlingen, Texas — Thousands of immigrants from India have crossed into the United States illegally at the southern tip of Texas in the last year, part of a mysterious and rapidly growing human-smuggling pipeline that is backing up court dockets, filling detention centers and triggering investigations.

The immigrants, mostly young men from poor villages, say they are fleeing religious and political persecution. More than 1,600 Indians have been caught since the influx began here early last year, while an undetermined number, perhaps thousands, are believed to have sneaked through undetected, according to U.S. border authorities.

Hundreds have been released on their own recognizance or after posting bond. They catch buses or go to local Indian-run motels before flying north for the final leg of their months-long journeys.

"It was long … dangerous, very dangerous," said one young man wearing a turban outside the bus station in the Rio Grande Valley town of Harlingen.

The Indian migration in some ways mirrors the journeys of previous waves of immigrants from far-flung places, such as China and Brazil, who have illegally crossed the U.S. border here. But the suddenness and still-undetermined cause of the Indian migration baffles many border authorities and judges.

The trend has caught the attention of anti-terrorism officials because of the pipeline's efficiency in delivering to America's doorstep large numbers of people from a troubled region. Authorities interview the immigrants, most of whom arrive with no documents, to ensure that people from neighboring Pakistan or Middle Eastern countries are not slipping through.

There is no evidence that terrorists are using the smuggling pipeline, FBI and Department of Homeland Security officials said.

The influx shows signs of accelerating: About 650 Indians were arrested in southern Texas in the last three months of 2010 alone. Indians are now the largest group of immigrants other than Latin Americans being caught at the Southwest border.
Riaz Haq said…
Here's an NPR report on the abuse of H1b visas:

If you scroll through the government's visa data, you notice something surprising. The biggest employer of foreign tech workers is not Microsoft — not by a long shot. Nor is it Google, Facebook or any other name-brand tech company. The biggest users of H-1Bs are consulting companies, or as Ron Hira calls them, "offshore-outsourcing firms."

"The top 10 recipients in [the] last fiscal year were all offshore-outsourcers. And they got 40,000 of the 85,000 visas — which is astonishing," he says.

Hira's a professor of public policy at the Rochester Institute of Technology. He's also the son of Indian immigrants and has a personal interest in questions of labor flow across borders.

For the past decade, he's been studying how consulting firms use temporary work visas to help American companies cut costs. He says they use the visas to supply cheaper workers here, but also to smooth the transfer of American jobs to information-technology centers overseas.

"What these firms have done is exploit the loopholes in the H-1B program to bring in on-site workers to learn the jobs [of] the Americans to then ship it back offshore," he says. "And also to bring in on-site workers who are cheaper on the H-1B and undercut American workers right here."

The biggest user of H-1B last year was Cognizant, a firm based in New Jersey. The company got 9,000 new visas. Following close behind were Infosys, Wipro and Tata ‑‑ all Indian firms. They're not household names, but they loom large in tech places like the Seattle suburbs.

Cutting Costs

Rennie Sawade, a software designer with 30 years of experience, grew up in Michigan — watching the decline of the auto industry. And so, he went into computers in search of a more secure career. But that's not how it turned out.

"Basically, what I see is, it's happening all over again," Sawade says.

Programmers like him tend to be freelancers, or contract workers, and the big consulting firms are the competition. Sawade remembers when he almost landed a plum job at Microsoft.

"I remember having phone interviews and talking with the manager, having him sound really excited about my experience and he was going to bring me in to meet the team," Sawade recalls.

And then: nothing. He called his own placement agency to find out what happened.

"And that's when they told me, 'Oh, they hired somebody from Tata Consultancy.' And they actually told me on the phone, the woman I was talking to said her jaw just dropped when they found out how little Microsoft was paying this person from Tata Consultancy to do this job," he says.


http://www.npr.org/blogs/alltechconsidered/2013/04/03/176134694/Whos-Hiring-H1-B-Visa-Workers-Its-Not-Who-You-Might-Think
Riaz Haq said…
BBC News - #Indians pray at #visa temples to go abroad. Why are #Indians escaping #india by millions? #EXODUS

http://www.bbc.com/news/world-asia-india-33161672


Millions of Indians regularly visit temples and religious sites to pray and seek divine help in fulfilling their wishes.
Most pray for a child or well being of their loved ones, but in recent years, some unusual temples have come up, including a few that offer divine help in procuring a visa.
Riaz Haq said…
Divine Intervention? #Indians Seek Help From the 'Visa God' #India #visas #Exodus http://on.wsj.com/1AB8bqF via @WSJ


Divine Intervention? Indians Seek Help From the 'Visa God'

Priest Says Prayers May Aid Those Trying to Enter U.S.; A Job With Amazon.com


Lord Balaji is one of the most-worshiped local incarnations of the Hindu Lord Vishnu. His adherents flock to his many temples to pray for things like happiness, prosperity and fertility.

Lately, the deity has grown particularly popular at the once-quiet Chilkur Balaji temple here, where he goes by a new nickname: the Visa God. The temple draws 100,000 visitors a week, many of whom come to pray to Lord Balaji for visas to travel or move to the U.S. and other Western countries.

Mohanty Dolagobinda is one of the Visa God's believers. Three years ago, a U.S. consulting company applied for a visa on his behalf. It was rejected. When the company tried again the following year, Mr. Dolagobinda's friends told him to visit the Chilkur Balaji temple ahead of his interview at the U.S. consulate. Weeks later, he sailed through the interview. "I've never heard of anyone who's gone to the temple whose visa got rejected," says Mr. Dolagobinda.

In the late 1990s, this small temple on the outskirts of Hyderabad -- the capital of the southern state of Andhra Pradesh -- drew just two or three visitors a week.

C.S. Gopala Krishna, the 63-year-old head priest of the Chilkur Balaji Temple, wanted more people to come. So he gave Lord Balaji a new identity. "I named him the Visa God," he says. Now, Mr. Gopala Krishna's temple is a hot spot. Billboards on the dirt road to the temple advertise English-language schools and visa advisers. Next to the parking lot, vendors hawk souvenirs and fruit.

The Visa God's growing celebrity reflects the rising frustration of educated Indians hoping to move West. In recent years, it's become harder to win the employer-sponsored "H-1B" visas that let skilled professionals like engineers work in the U.S. While the U.S. limits the number of H-1Bs granted each year to 65,000, the demand for visas keeps rising.


For the fiscal year ended September 2004, it took 11 months for the U.S. government to receive 65,000 applications for H-1B visas; last fiscal year, it took two months. This fiscal year, the U.S. government received more than 65,000 applications in one day. Applications are now assigned a random number, and the first 90,000 to 110,000 are processed and accepted or rejected until the quota is reached.
Riaz Haq said…
India Is the Fastest-Growing Source of New Illegal Immigrants to the U.S.
The country ranks fourth after Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala for the largest source of unauthorized migrants to America
http://blogs.wsj.com/indiarealtime/2016/09/22/india-is-the-fastest-growing-source-of-new-illegal-immigrants-to-the-u-s/?mod=e2fb


a growing number of Indians that are less-skilled and staying in the country illegally. In fact, in recent years the net number of Indians staying in America illegally has been growing much more than even the number of new illegal Mexico-born immigrants in the country, a recent Pew Research Center report showed this week.

Of course the total number of unauthorized Mexicans in the United States is more than ten times higher than the number of Indians but most of them arrived more than a decade ago. The total for illegal immigrants born in Mexico has been shrinking while the total from India has been growing more than any other country.

In the period between 2009 and 2014, Pew estimates, the number of unauthorized Indian immigrants in the U.S. surged by 43% to a total of around 500,000. During the same period, the number of unauthorized Mexicans fell 8% to 5.85 million.

India now ranks fourth after Mexico, El Salvador and Guatemala in terms of the countries that are the largest source of unauthorized migrants to America.

Despite concerns of the U.S. presidential candidate Donald Trump and his followers that a flood of illegal immigrants are hurting America, the number of illegals has actually been falling for years. However the steady decline of the number of illegal immigrants from Latin America has been partly offset by those arriving from Asia, led by India.

“The U.S. unauthorized immigrant population – 11.1 million in 2014 – has stabilized since the end of the Great Recession, as the number from Mexico declined but the total from other regions of the world increased,” the report said.

If you combine legal and illegal arrivals, both India and China are each sending more people to the United States in recent years. In 2014 about 136,000 people came to the U.S. from India, about 128,000 from China and about 123,000 from Mexico, census figures show. As recently as 2005, Mexico sent more than 10 times as many people to the U.S. as China, and more than six times as many as India.


Riaz Haq said…
The Patel family, who froze to death while trying to illegally enter the #US from the #Canadian border, hailed from the Dingucha village in #Gujarat, #India , which has a long history of its residents trying to sneak into #America, no matter what the cost

https://thewire.in/world/the-gujarati-family-that-froze-to-death-in-search-of-the-american-dream


Despite constant humiliation, deportation and even the loss of life, more and more Gujaratis are willing to undertake dangerous practises to reach the United States and get a shot at that elusive ‘American dream’. Now, one family from a nondescript village in the state has even frozen to death.

The family, which included a three-year-old child, died whilst being trafficked across the border into the US from Canada. What’s more, another such family is thought to be missing.

The family hailed from Dingucha village, some 12 kilometre from the Gujarat’s capital Gandhinagar, with a registered population of 3,000 people. Most of residents of this village give a wry, proud smile when they say, “More than 1,800 people from our village, the majority, live in America.”

Every house in Dingucha is replete with Costco candy and jalepeƱo wafers. Locals from the Patel-dominated area take pride in the fact that people from there began migrating to America from the early 70s, “when there were no issues,” as an older resident of the village said.

The death of the family is very sad, the residents of Dingucha said, noting that they will find the agent who promised a “first-class human smuggling exercise” and had charged them Rs 65 lakh to do so. They are trying to get in touch over the phone with the relatives of a family in the village which was part of another group trying to make their way into the US.


--------

Last year, a 24-year-old man from North Gujarat’s Mehsana district decided to leave the country with his family because he was being harassed by local politicians. With help from an agent, he reached the Mexican border. From there, they were joined by a local agent ferrying another group of people crossing the border illegally.

However, his dream of settling in the US was shattered and he and the others in the group were arrested by US border authorities and taken to a detention centre in Louisiana. The agent had reportedly been paid a whopping 30 lakh to get the family into the US.


Similarly, a few years ago, a woman from North India, along with her daughter, was trying to cross from Mexico into the US through the Arizona desert. After spending 22 hours in the scorching heat, both she and her daughter died.

In 2007, then BJP MP Babubhai Katara was even caught trying to illegally send a young woman to Canada on his wife’s diplomatic passport. A subsequent investigation had revealed that an amount of around Rs 30 lakh had been fixed to do so.

The Trump administration had begun building a wall along the US’s border with Mexico and since then, undocumented immigrants have been increasingly trying to enter from Canada. While the Mexican side of the border has a tropical climate similar to India’s, the Canadian border in the North has a harsh, freezing climate.

These instances raise another question: what could compel people to become so desperate to leave the country as to endanger their lives? Could government intervention to set up new schemes to promote start-ups or innovation help keep Indians within India?

This responsibility – to think of way to prevent such disasters by creating avenues for gainful employment and assure Indians of a bright future within their country – lies with the government.

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