US lists Indians ‘living illegally’, govt says it is not convinced

Sushma Swaraj said there had been no immediate change in the US government policy regarding illegal immigrants after the Donald Trump administration took over.

Written by Amitabh Sinha | New Delhi | Published:March 24, 2017 5:17 am
India-Sri Lanka, Tamils in Sri Lanka, Sri Lankan Tamils, External minister Sushma Swaraj, Sushma Swaraj on Sri Lankan Tamils, UNHRC, indian express news In picture, External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj (File Photo)

India said Thursday it has been given a list of 271 people alleged to be living illegally in the US but has sought more information from Washington to verify that claim.

“Till we verify the nationalities of these people, how do we believe the claims in the list? We have asked the US government for more information and told them that we will give an emergency certificate for their deportation only after establishing their Indian nationalities,” External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj said Rajya Sabha, responding to a question.

She said there had been no immediate change in the US government policy regarding illegal immigrants after the Donald Trump administration took over. She said the Indian government did not have any reliable estimate of its people living in the US without proper documents but did not agree with an American estimate of 2.6 lakh Indians among 11.43 illegal immigrants in 2012.

In reply to another question, she said India would go along with the consensus while voting on a resolution moved at the UN Human Rights Commission asking Sri Lanka to fulfil its promises on protecting the interests of its Tamil population. The resolution, moved by the US and some other countries, gives Sri Lanka two years beyond 2017 to complete a process initiated in 2015 following a similar resolution.

Sushma said India was not entirely satisfied with the progress made by Sri Lanka in the last couple of years, but it still trusted that country’s government to come good on its promise.

“Our objective is to safeguard the interests of the Tamils… Sri Lanka has promised to do certain things in the next two years… As a responsible nation, we have decided that we will not break the consensus that is evolving on this,” she said.

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