WASHINGTON: More than 50 individuals from India, some of them possibly separated from their children, are reportedly incarcerated at a federal prison in Oregon under the Trump administration’s tough ''zero-tolerance'' policy against illegal immigration, an Asia-Pacific activist organization said on Tuesday.
Over the last month, 123 immigrants seeking asylum have been detained and transferred to Oregon’s Sheridan federal prison in Yamhill County, the Asia-Pacific American Network of Oregan said, revealing that the majority of the 123 people in the Sheridan prison are South Asian, who speak primarily Hindi and Punjabi, and a few identified as Chinese. These detainees are isolated, have limited access to interpretation, and are at-risk of abuse in their current prison housing arrangement, the organization warned.
The organization indicated that the detention involved separating children from parents but did not say how many were affected.
''2,000 kids have been separated from their families, some for 2 months. This is the definition of cruel and unusual,'' said Susheela Jayapal, Commissioner-Elect for Multnomah County, referring to the national crisis. ''This policy of family separation needs to end now; and in the meantime, all detainees deserve legal representation and fair treatment, starting with transparency about their children’s whereabouts and humane detention conditions.''
The detention of Indian immigrants seldom 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, all Democrats, went to the Sheridan facility and emerged angry and emotional Saturday after touring the detention center.
According to the Oregonian, the migrants told the politicians they are locked up 22 to 23 hours a day, three to a cell. It's been difficult to impossible to talk to a lawyer. Those with families say they have no idea where their wives or children are, and they fear they'll be deported and separated from them forever.
''This is a shameful hour in US. history," said US. Rep. 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.
Of the 123 people now in Sheridan, the Oregonian said the most populous nationality is not Honduran or Guatemalan, it is East Indian. Fifty-two listed India as their home country. Several identified themselves as Sikhs or Christians fleeing religious persecution from the Hindu majority.
They may be Pakis , Claiming as Indians - Deport them if they are from India
Religious persecution from Hindus? Then these detainees are from Pakistan, paid to say so.
What a Joke ... "Several identified themselves as Sikhs or Christians fleeing religious persecution from the Hindu majority"
Went there illegally. Die in a boat coming bk. Pigs like you shame our civilization.
Shame on you guys, you don't have self respect. Come back & work hard instead of doing plumbing work.
They are asylum seekers, so must be Khalistani supporters. They are trouble makers. We are sick of them. Good riddance.
Bhupender K. Sharma
The US is system based on LAW. The law says, if you live in the country illegally and get caught, you will be deported. This law has been passed by the congress decades and decades ago. Either US congress has to change the law to accommodate illegals, which is almost impossible, or deport them. It is a catch 22 for US authorities, they are doing their jobs accordance with the law of the land, and if they don''t their job then they will be reprimanded by the same people who made the law. Something needs to be done about it but no one knows how to handle this situation. The government can offer an amnesty to illegals but it will encourage more people to enter in the country thinking that they might get the amnesty one day as well. No one is a winner here. When I came to the US 32 years ago, it was not bad at all. Now, everything has changed and Trump made it worse. Make money back home and become prosper in your home country rather than sitting in the prison as a criminals. No one will here you plea unless you have tons of money to hire a lawyer. Lawyers in US charge averagely $300 per hour fees, who can afford them? Only people who have money.
I see lot of comments few are purely sentimental. I am a immigrant myself waited in line for for 14 years, came to US went to University got education and joined very competitive job market. There are very few illegal Indians here and very few doing low jobs unlike Canada & UK where you will see many more.
Most of the young illegals are basically trapped by agents who charge lot of Rs. just to get them here. Majority of Illegals are from Mexico & South American countries.
Well life here is not easy - you got to work hard & if got to work hard why not do it in your home town why here in US.
这里的生活并不容易 - 你必须努力工作才行。赚钱也那么容易，为什么不留在家乡发展，为什么偏要来美国。
Why to go to USA when India has so much to offer. And blame India for religious persecution and at the same time seek Indian government help for release from prison.
all Hindus entering Christian usa must be forced to convert to Christianity or go back to their lands
No self respect? Why sneak in like a thief?