Indian students held in US sharing cells with murderers
Deccan Chronicle| Coreena Suares
In 2017, Indian students comprised 17.3% of all International students in our country, numbering over 1,86,000.
Hyderabad: The United States Congress has written to homeland security secretary Kristjen M. Nielson to ensure that Indian students detained in the "Pay to Stay" scam are treated fairly, humanely and in accordance with due process.
"India is an important strategic partner and friend to the United States," said a letter issued on February 6, 2019, by four members of the Congress, including Mr Raja Krishnamoorthi.
"In 2017, Indian students comprised 17.3% of all International students in our country, numbering over 1,86,000. These students are a vital pillar of the people-to-people exchanges between the two countries and they come to the US on grounds of merit. In the spirit of continuing cooperation on educational exchange programs, which benefit both countries economically and culturally, we (Congress) ask that you ensure the students involved in this case are treated fairly, humanely and in accordance with due process."
Congress has urged the detainee centres and US ICE to ensure that detained students are treated properly and afforded all rights provided to them under the law, including access to an attorney and release on bond, if eligible.
"We (Congress) urge DHS and ICE to share full details and regular updates regarding the Indian students with the Embassy and Consulate of India and to facilitate consular access for the detainees.
The move came from the Congress of the US when the Indian-American community and Indian Consulate expressed concern over treatment rendered to detained foreign nationals and the US ICE not sharing with the Indian Embassy details of those detained. A member of the American Telugu Association told this newspaper that a couple of students detained at various cells cried when member of the community visited them. They were shaken as they were sharing space with murderers, drug addicts, peddlers and other criminals at the detention centres.
Over 130 foreign students, out of which 129 are Indians, have been detained by the US Immigration Customs and Enforcement for enrolling in a fake university to illegally stay in the country.