WASHINGTON: Anxiety and unease is spreading among Indian travellers to the United States, including those holding valid visas, Green cards, and even American citizenship, following sporadic incidents of secondary inspection and detention at US airports.
Such accounts were amplified by an Indian-American law firm in New York that sent out a memo advising avoiding travel to the US in the short term “until things settle down”, reports The Times of India.
“It’s a dynamic situation at ports of entry and in immigration enforcement at the current time. Generally, there are always problems at ports of entry. But they were statistically low prior. Now we have seen them increase for some immigrants, especially who are from or in possession of a visa to visit a country on the list of the banned countries, and other countries that are predominantly Muslim,” reads the memo from Madan and Saigal LLC in New York.
The advisory follows reports of immigrants, some from India, being subjected to extended questioning at airports, including some being put back on flights to India.
In one instance, a US citizen of Indian-origin was reportedly strip-searched at Washington Dulles airport earlier this week even though he was on a domestic flight and had been pre-checked by the Transportation Security Authority (TSA).
A former Norway PM was detained for an hour because his passport showed he visited Iran in 2014 — for a human rights conference. “I’m not at all saying this to demonize TSA. They’re just trying to keep us all safe.