BY adding India to its list of safe countries, the UK Government has set the ball rolling to effectively block avenues for illegal Indian immigrants to seek asylum in the country. They would now be detained and sent back home. UK Prime Minister Rishi Sunak has been on a mission to change the law to ‘stop the boats’. This refers to the thousands of migrants, including Indians (mostly from Punjab and Haryana), risking their lives to enter Britain through the English Channel from Italy, Serbia, France, etc., in small, risky boats every year. Indians undertake hazardous journeys as they are trafficked into these countries through the ‘donkey route’ by paying huge sums of money to unscrupulous agents.
A well-oiled system, in which devious people help the asylum seeker by exploiting loopholes in the rules, has evolved over the past few decades as illegal immigrants, including terrorists and gangsters, are desperate to make a ‘good’ life in the West by staking it all, even their lives or their freedom. Haryana’s Indian National Lok Dal made a splash recently when it informed the US authorities that the party’s letterheads were being forged by imposters seeking political asylum. It is believed that politicians in Punjab and Haryana have been charging hefty sums to issue letters certifying religious and political persecution.