Saturday, July 11, 2020

The Long, Perilous Route Thousands of Indians Have Risked For a Shot at Life In U.S.


Lauren Frayer for NPR report on a somewhat surprising development -- the increasing border crossings across the U.S./Mexico border of Punjabi Indians.  Although the vast majority of migrants trying to cross from Mexico into the United States come from Latin America, a growing number of Indians are risking their lives to cross the southern border.

The flow of migrants toward the U.S.-Mexico border has dwindled during the global pandemic. U.S. authorities have deported many who were in custody when the virus broke out, including 167 Indians in May. Of those still being detained for trying to unlawfully cross the border, the first to test positive for the coronavirus, was an Indian, U.S. authorities say.

U.S. Border Patrol figures show that the number of Indians detained on the U.S.-Mexico border spiked from just 76 in 2007 to more than 7,600 last year. U.S. and Indian officials have been trying to figure out why.

The story elaborates:

"What they're finding is that — unlike many migrants fleeing violence, persecution or economic hardship — most Indian migrants trying to enter the U.S. via Mexico are not the poorest of the poor. Indian authorities say they're from Punjab, one of the country's wealthiest states. . . . The migrants are heading to the U.S. amid a spike in Punjab's land prices that has simultaneously exacerbated economic inequality and been a boon to landowners, allowing them or their children to afford the cost of such journeys."


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