An Indian woman, who crossed into America from Mexico illegally, is seeking asylum in the US. She has been separated from her five-year-old differently-abled son, a recent media report said.
The Trump administration’s contentious “zero tolerance” policy of separating immigrant parents and their children on the US border has been implemented since the last few months. The policy has resulted in the separation of nearly 2,000 children from their parents and guardians, resulting in a public uproar.
The Washington Post reported that 33-year-old Bhavan Patel was granted a USD 30,000 bond by an Arizona court. However, it was not immediately made clear if she was able to join her disabled son.
This is the first known case of an Indian national who has been separated from her child in recent months under the ‘zero-tolerance’ policy
As of now, more than 2,300 children have been separated from their parents after being arrested by the US law enforcement agencies after they illegally crossed the border. President Trump signed an executive order that stopped the practice after a nationwide outrage.
It is not revealed when Bhavan Patel was arrested. The woman is from Ahmedabad, from where she fled political persecution. She travelled to Greece and then Mexico before crossing the US border illegally with her disabled five-year-old son, Patel and her attorney stated.
“Her son is not doing well,” said her attorney Alinka Robinson, as a telephonic translator imparted the proceedings to Patel in her native tongue of Gujarati, the daily reported from Arizona.
Judge Irene C Feldman was requested by attorney Robinson to grant her client a USD 10,000 bond so she could “reunite with her son”.
The prosecutor from the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement informed the court that Patel was a flight risk.
The judge interrogated her about her path to the United States and whether she had paid a smuggler.
“An asylum officer had already found she had a ‘credible fear’ of being hurt or killed if she were sent back to India. She told the judge that her brother arranged her passage and that she never paid a smuggler,” The Post reported.
The official figure of Indians being detained is not known. Recent media reports indicate that there are more than 200 illegal Indians mostly from Punjab and Gujarat in four federal prisons in Washington, New Mexico, Oregon and Pennsylvania.
Indian Embassy in Washington DC and its Consulates in Houston, New York and San Francisco have sent their senior diplomats to all these federal prisons to determine details and offer consular access to its citizens.
The public outcry after the images and stories of the children caught in the middle of Trump’s immigration policy has sparked a severe debate in the US.
Apoorva Lamba is an intern with SheThePeople.Tv