Jalandhar, November 10, 2023: As per media reports, the United Kingdom (UK) has announced changes in its asylum policy to add India to its list of “safe states” and limit asylum rights for illegal migrants from here, but the move would not have much impact on the Doaba region which witnesses extensive migration.
According to a recent US Customs and Border Protection data, as many as 96,917 Indians had illegally crossed the US borders between October 2022 and September 2023. On the contrary, only 323 Indians crossed over to the United Kingdom and applied for refuge there in 2022.
According to the news published in The Tribune, some travel agents from Jalandhar said youth from Doaba used to migrate to the United Kingdom, seeking asylum in the 1980s and 1990s, but eventually, the US and Canada became safer options for them.
Paramjit Singh Raipur, a political leader who has been a frequent traveller to the UK, said, “The trend of Indians moving to the UK for asylum had come down a lot since the start of the new millennium. When Indians used to flee to the United Kingdom for refuge, Canada and United States were not much open to asylum. But as the other two countries allowed safe refuge to the migrants, they were preferred more by the Punjabi community and the Indian community as a whole.”
An agent said, “It is far easier to make it to the United States than to the UK via illegal ways. Going by small boats to the UK through the English Channel is not easy. On the contrary, entering the US via Canada or Mexican border through ‘donkey route’ is far easier and known to all. On reaching there, they try to put up their case for asylum.”