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15 Punjabi Men Missing While Illegally Entering The US: NAPA

Fence with hole in California desert.

Families paid Rs 19.5 lakh each to a Delhi-based agent for sending them to the US. In addition the families have together paid another Rs 45 lakh to various ‘swindler agents’ just to hear a word from their loved ones.

WASHINGTON – At least 15 men from Punjab have gone missing while trying to illegally enter the United States from its southern border with Mexico and Bahamas, a community activist said on Monday.

Six of these youths went missing while crossing the Bahamas Island-US Border while the other nine went missing crossing the Mexico–US border, according to executive director of North American Punjabi Association (NAPA) Satnam Singh Chahal.

The families of these missing boys told the NAPA that when the group, consisting of 56 persons mainly from Punjab, was only an hour’s distance from the US border, the Mexican Army intercepted them.

They detained six Punjabi youths, who were later released and reached the US, but 11 youths were taken away and they are still untraceable, Chahal said in a statement.

He further said after two days the boys called their families in Punjab and that they had landed safely in Nicaragua and will be travelling from Guatemala to Mexico by road.

They even called them thrice en route and later said they had reached Mexico safely and after that there was no communications between them and their families in Punjab, he said.

Chahal alleged that the families paid Rs 19.5 lakh each to a Delhi-based agent for sending them to the US. In addition the families have together paid another Rs 45 lakh to various ‘swindler agents’ just to hear a word from their loved ones.

The families never heard from their boys after they reached Mexico.

The agent took the entire amount from them on the pretext of giving it back at the US detention centres in Texas and later in Florida, Chahal alleged.

“Missing boys were to land in Mexico (as assured by their agents), but they landed in Nicaragua,” he said.

Another group of six Punjabi youths went missing from Bahamas Island, a independent country in northwestern Caribbean, located 80 km 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 families in Punjab from a hotel in 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 communications between the missing boys with their family members in Punjab.

“Now the families are running from pillar to post to know about the fate of their loved ones,” he said.

“It is very unfortunate that hundreds of Indian youths mainly from Punjab and Gujarat try to cross the Mexican-US border everyday where immigration laws at Texas located near the Mexican border are the most stringent and a majority of the youths try to cross from there and are caught by US immigration officials,” he said.

Chahal urged both the Indian government and the state government of Punjab to find the missing boys by getting in touch with the Mexican and US governments, to at least find out whether they are dead or alive.

He also appealed to youths who are hoping to enter the US to not use illegal means to do so.

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