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New Delhi: Not just Indian students, but tourists and businessmen, have been deported by the US in recent months, the external affairs ministry has said.
According to a report in Hindustan Times, the ministry said, “Some Indian nationals travelling on business/tourism/work visas have also been deported.”
“They include holders of B-1 and B-2 US visas, for tourists and businesspersons, and H-1s, which are work permits,” said an external affairs ministry official to HT.
US ambassador to India, Richard Verma, has said that the embassy has come to know about the difficulty faced by a few students who were advised by the Air India authorities to cancel their trip to the US due to the fear of deportation.
“Due to the uncertainty of the situation, India has directed students who got admission in those two US universities to postpone their travel plans until the issue got resolved,” he said.
India has urged the US to ‘honour the visas issued by their own Embassy/Consulates’, but also adding that travellers must ensure they are carrying ‘proper authorization and capacities’.
“According to the US Government, the deported persons had presented information to the border patrol agent which was inconsistent with their visa status,” the MEA advisory said.
“Apart from travel documents, the students should also carry all required documentation regarding their study plans, housing, financial support, healthcare arrangements etc. and be prepared for admission (entry to the US) interviews with US immigration officials,” the advisory said.
Most of the additional deportations have taken place at Chicago International Airport. The earlier ones happened at San Francisco Airport.
America for its part has assured India that the deportations don’t target any country or intended to profile Indians. Indian officials said the US wants them to ‘look at the deportations in terms of the overall numbers (of Indians entering the US)’.
The issue erupted after an airline refused to accept 19 Indian students who had secured admission in two California universities. A student last Saturday said that they were denied the entry with the airline saying that the visas were not valid.
“We were stopped at the airport. We asked the reason like why we were being stopped; we have all the documents. The Airlines told us that it is not a valid visa,” a deported student had told ANI.
The deportations could have increased due to the increased security concerns and scrutiny following the Paris and San Bernardino terror attacks, but there is no official confirmation of the same.