Officials in Texas are in awe at the sudden increase in the number of undocumented Indian immigrants entering Texas from its Mexico border.
The reported surge is due to an estimated 1,600 Indians having been caught in Southern Texas since early last year, with 650 being arrested in the last three months of 2010 alone. In 2009, Border Patrol only arrested 99 Indians along the entirety of the Southwest border.
It is said this recent influx is the “most significant” occurrence of human smuggling being tracked by the U.S. officials.
Kumar Kibble, deputy director of ICE said, “It’s a dramatic increase. We do want to monitor these pipelines and shut them down because it is a vulnerability. They could either knowingly or unknowingly smuggle people into the U.S. that pose a national security threat.”
The majority of undocumented Indians are young Sikh men from poor areas of Punjab or Gujarat states who say they fear religious persecution, or are members of the Bharatiya Janata Party who claim to be targeted and beaten by members of the National Congress Party.
However, activists and human rights monitors have said migration for political and religious reasons do not explain the surge in Indian migration to the U.S., as Sikhs haven’t been targeted since the 80’s and currently, the prime minister of India is Sikh.
A theory being tossed around by some authorities is that the immigrants are merely seeking a better economy than their own, and paying thousands of dollars to be smuggled into the U.S. and risking their lives is worth the better economical climate.