01 Dec 2018
US: Since 2014, over 20,000 Indians have sought political asylum
More than 20,000 Indians, mostly men, have sought asylum in the US since 2014, according to the latest figures.
Till July, a maximum number of 7,214 Indians had applied for asylum in the US this year.
Of these only 296 were women, the information provided by the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the California-based North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) stated.
More than 2,000 Indians sought asylum in 2014: Report
The NAPA, a non-partisan, non-sectarian global organization, has been working among illegal immigrants from Punjab.
As per the information obtained by the NAPA from DHS, 2,306 Indian nationals applied for asylum in the year 2014.
Of these, 146 were women and the gender of one of the Indian applicants is not known.
The next year, 2,971 Indians, including 96 women, sought asylum.
Indians seeking asylum in US doubled in last two years
"The number of Indians who are seeking asylum in the US has almost doubled in the last two years. This is an issue of concern," Satnam Singh Chahal, executive director of NAPA said.
Every year, several thousand Indians, mostly from Punjab try their luck to settle abroad, Chahal said alleging that each one of them pays between Rs. 25-30L per person to travel agents.
Trump administration introduced a number of controversial policies over immigration
Observing that the US asylum law applies to those who have a well-founded fear of persecution "on account of race, religion, nationality, membership in a particular social group, or political opinion," Chahal said those fleeing generalized crime in their home country don't easily fit into these categories.
The Trump administration introduced a number of controversial policies in line with its hardline stance on immigration.
The number of asylum seekers dropped in 2017
In 2016, as many as 4,088 Indians, including 123 women, asked for asylum from the US. In both 2015 and 2016, the gender of one applicant each was not known. In 2017, the Department of Homeland Security received asylum from 3,656 Indians, including 187 women.