WASHINGTON (Diya TV) – A staggering 96,917 Indian nationals were detained while attempting to enter the United States unlawfully between October 2022 and September 2023, as per data from the US Customs and Border Protection (UCBP). This revelation comes amidst ongoing tragic incidents related to illegal intrusions, often through perilous routes.

Of these apprehensions, 30,010 occurred at the Canadian border, with 41,770 taking place along the Mexican frontier, while the remainder were tracked down after entering US territory. This figure represents a fivefold increase compared to the 19,883 Indians apprehended in 2019-20.

Law enforcement agencies stress that these figures merely scratch the surface, with the actual number of illegal entries likely to be much higher. A police officer in Gujarat pointed out, “This is just the tip of the iceberg. For every person caught at the border, there may be at least 10 others who successfully infiltrated the US.”

Many of these individuals hail from Gujarat and Punjab, driven by aspirations to establish themselves in the United States. The categories of those arrested include unaccompanied children, children accompanied by family members, entire families, and single adults, with the latter constituting the largest group. In this period, 84,000 single adults were detained, along with 730 unaccompanied children.

One tragic case underscores the risks involved: Brijkumar Yadav of Gandhinagar attempted to scale the Trump wall in December 2022 with his child but fell on the Mexican side of Tijuana, resulting in his tragic death. His wife, Pooja, fell on the US side in San Diego, leaving their three-year-old child in the custody of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE).

The surge in illegal immigration is attributed in part to the termination of the pandemic-era border policy Title 42 in May, which allowed swift deportation of illegal immigrants without asylum hearings.

Despite the tragic incidents involving families attempting illegal entry, efforts by the Gujarat police and Indian, US, and Canadian agencies to combat the issue have yielded limited success. The data also suggests that many Indians apprehended in the US are granted shelter on humanitarian grounds, making deportation a rare occurrence.