Immigration


A 23-year-old Indian American is making a name for himself among the immigrant community by campaigning against discrimination and racism. It was after 9/11 that Prateek Sampat began hearing about Pakistani Americans who were deported en masse. Sampat also works with the Non-Military Alternative Project, which targets high school students to impress upon them that military service is not the only way to finance an education.

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At least three Afghan refugees have been killed after clashes between Pakistani security forces and refugees in south-western Pakistan, police say. Both sides say the other started the violence in Pir Alizai camp after officials tried to demolish homes. The camp, set up for Afghan refugees after the 1979 Soviet invasion, is to be closed down by next month.

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British and US officials today denied a report that the US was seeking ways of imposing entry restrictions for visiting Britons of Pakistani origin, following a spate of UK bomb plots involving citizens with links to Pakistan. The report in the New York Times, quoted unnamed British officials as saying that the US had put several options on the table, including a cancellation of the existing visa waiver programme, which allows British tourists to visit without a visa, or a requirement that British Pakistanis would have to apply for visas.

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Bangladesh and other South Asian nations have long benefited from and in some cased depended upon millions of dollars in receipts from nationals working in the Arab Gulf States.  A prestigious security conference here in March placed the future of those receipts in jeopardy.  United Arab Emirates (UAE) analyst, Ebtisam Al Kitbi warned that millions of laborers from South Asia endanger the Gulf States’ security and urged the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC) to take immediate action. Al Kitbi warned the GCC of a growing “demographic imbalance” in favor of foreign workers who can be expected to demand political rights in the Gulf.

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WASHINGTON, DC: In a show of unity, 23 organisations promoting Indian American and South Asian causes across the United States sent a strong message on Monday to President George W Bush over the heating immigration debate in the country. In March, a new White House “compassionate immigration reform plan” emphasised professional talents and corporate employment needs over family ties for approving legal immigration applications. The coalition says the plan is “unworkable” and “would have a devastating effect on the South Asian community.”

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The Indian professionals, working in United Kingdom, are getting continuous blows by the British government on the matter of visa. In a new setback to thousands of Indian professionals working in Britain under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) visas are on the verge of facing deportation from UK now.

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Danyal Shafiq arrived (in Australia) by boat in September 1999 and says he fled Bangladesh. For the past seven-and-a-half years he has been in immigration detention, mostly in detention centres, and for the past year in community detention in Adelaide. Mr Andrews has used his public interest power to grant him what is called a Removal Pending Bridging Visa. The visa ends Mr Shafiq’s detention and gives him the right to work, but still allows for his deportation if the Government decides so.

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