At least 15 youths from Punjab region have gone missing while trying to illegally enter the United States from its southern border with Mexico and Bahamas, a community activist makes a statement on Monday. Six of these students went missing while crossing the Bahamas Island-US Border while the other nine went highly missing crossing the Mexico–US border, in accordance to this whole situation executive director of the North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) Satnam Singh Chahal.
The near and dear ones of these missing boys claimed the NAPA that when the group, consisting of 56 persons mainly from the Punjab region, was only an hour’s distance from the border of the US, the Mexican Army intercepted them.
They detained six youths from Punjab, who were later released and reached the US nation, but 11 youths were taken away and they are still untraceable, Chahal made a statement. He further added that after two days the boys talk to their families in Punjab and that they had landed safely in Nicaragua and will be traveling from Guatemala to Mexico by the main road. They even called them thrice in a day and later said they had reached Mexico safely and after that, there were no direct communications between them and their families in the state of Punjab, he added.
Chahal alleged that the whole families paid Rs 19.5 lakh each to a Delhi-based immigration agent for sending them to the United States. In addition, the families have together paid another Rs 45 lakh to various ‘fraudster agents’ just to hear a word from their loved ones. The families never heard this all from their boys after they reached Mexico.
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The agent took the whole amount from them on the pretext of giving it back at the US detention centers in Texas and later in Florida, Chahal said. “All Missing students were to land in Mexico (as claimed by their agents), but they landed in Nicaragua,” he added.
The next group of six Punjabi youths went fully missing from Bahamas Island, an independent country in the northwestern Caribbean, located 80 km (50 mi) south-east of the coast of Florida (USA) and north of Cuba while crossing the US border by boat to Florida.
These boys called their entire families in Punjab from a hotel in the Bahamas that they are staying in the Bahamas hotel and will proceed further to cross into the US border via Florida. After that, there was no communication between the missing boys with their family members in the Punjab region. “Presently the families are running from pillar to post to know about the fate of their children,” he said.
“It is quite unfortunate that the hundreds of Indian youths mainly from the Punjab region and Gujarat try to cross the Mexican-US border every day where immigration laws at Texas located near the Mexican border are the most stringent and a majority of the youths even try to cross lines from there and are caught by the immigration officials of US,” he said in a statement.
Chahal requested both the Indian government and the state government of the whole Punjab to search for the missing boys by establishing a pure contact with the Mexican and US governments, to at least find out whether they are deeply dead or alive. He also requested to youths who are hoping to enter the US to not use illegal means to do so.