ISSN (Print) - 0012-9976 | ISSN (Online) - 2349-8846

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Illegal Immigration and Institutional Failures

It is important to address the feeling of hopelessness that is driving many Indians to illegally migrate abroad.

On 21 December 2023, a charter flight heading to Nicaragua from Dubai with 303 Indians on board was stopped in France on suspicion of “human trafficking.” The plane was stuck in France for four days as neither Nicaragua nor the United Arab Emirates agreed to host it. The Indian autho­rities then persuaded the passengers to come back home. The plane arrived in Mumbai on 26 December but with only 276 passengers. Twenty-five of the passengers had applied for asylum in France. The French authorities dropped the investi­gation of human trafficking on 27 December after the passengers told them that they had willingly boarded the flight and embarked on this journey.

Nicaragua, a Central American country, is geographically close to the United States (US) and has relatively lax entry policies for travellers from many countries that face visa restrictions elsewhere. Nicaragua serves as a convenient location for immigrants from India desiring to cross over to the US from its southern borders. The freezing environment of the US–Canada border discourages many immigrants from attempting to illegally enter the US via Canada, however, that route continues to be relied upon. In January 2022, the dead and frozen bodies of four members of a family from Gujarat were found lying in Canada’s Manitoba, just 12 metres away from the US border. This tragic incident exemplified the dire risks being taken by certain Indian individuals and families in their desire to reach countries like the US, the United Kingdom (UK), and Canada through illegal “donkey” routes.

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Updated On : 13th Jan, 2024
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