British Parliament to probe illegal immigration from India

British Parliament to probe illegal immigration from India

London: A British Parliamentary Committee will conduct an inquiry into illegal immigration into the UK from India, its chairman Keith Vaz, a leading NRI MP, said here.

Vaz, a former Minister for Europe, said the Home Affairs Select Committee would probe how a sizeable number of Indians, mostly from Punjab, were still coming to the UK via Turkey.

He was speaking after the screening of “Shores Far Away", a film on illegal immigration from Punjab into the UK by Savyasachi Jain.

Describing it as a “pretty amazing film", Vaz said “I personally feel quite drained after seeing the movie. The message is clear, people who are trafficking in human beings must be dealt with severely and at source."

Shot over 18 months, the documentary follows young men who have made the illegal journey from Punjab to Europe, or have tried and failed. It documents numerous aspects of the smuggling process, but its prime focus is the human condition of those who undertake the illegal journey.

Vaz said British Immigration Minister Liam Byrne would visit India next month leading a high-level delegation when the issue of illegal migrants might figure in his talks.

Last year 2,500 Indians illegally came to the UK via Austria. Jassi Khangura, MLA from Punjab, who was present on the occasion, said on paper it is illegal to be an agent.

“We have got very big problem. It is impossible to convince the people not to take the illegal route as a vast majority of them in the past had managed to get regularized. On an average 100 people come to me and of them 15 people complain of being duped by unscrupulous agents.