Surge in Illegal Migration from India

Surge in Illegal Migration from India


Recently, 303 Indians were forced to return from a French airport which has highlighted the challenges faced by those attempting to migrate. The increase in the number of Indians trying to enter the U.S. through risky routes, especially the Mexican border, underlines the desperation or potential exploitation driving such endeavors.


GS-3 (Agriculture, Employment)

Mains Question:

Examine the factors contributing to the surge in illegal migration from India, particularly focusing on the role of farming distress and alleged religious persecution. Propose comprehensive strategies for the Indian government to address the issue effectively. (250 words)

Dimensions of the Article:

  • The Perils of Migration
  • Root Causes
  • Trafficking Concerns

The Perils of Migration:

  • Illegal migration from India has seen a significant rise, with nearly 1,00,000 attempts reported between October 2022 and September this year, a fivefold increase from the previous year.
  • The hazardous journey, marked by tragedies such as the death of a six-year-old girl from Punjab in the Arizona desert, showcases the extreme risks undertaken by migrants.
  • The invocation of Title 42 of the U.S. Code during the COVID-19 pandemic, allowing border agencies to turn away asylum seekers without a hearing, impacted migration patterns.
  • Despite these challenges, migration attempts have surged again under the Biden Administration, indicating persistent desperation or potential misinformation.

Root Causes:

  • The recent incident reveals familiar patterns seen in past cases, where a majority of migrants were men from Punjab, Haryana, and Gujarat, with unaccompanied minors among them.
  • Alleged religious persecution and farming distress are cited as immediate reasons, pointing to the need for addressing broader issues in rural areas, especially Punjab and Haryana.

Trafficking Concerns:

  • The prevalence of trafficking in parts of rural Punjab and Haryana requires urgent attention. Vulnerable individuals are enticed by promises of a better future in the U.S., raising questions about the role of exploitative middlemen.
  • Tackling this trafficking network necessitates a comprehensive crackdown on such middlemen operating in the labor market.

Way Forward:

  • Addressing the root causes of illegal migration is crucial. The Indian government must implement measures to mitigate farming crises, stabilize incomes, and rejuvenate overexploited farmlands.
  • Additionally, awareness campaigns debunking misinformation and highlighting legal migration avenues can deter individuals from falling prey to trafficking networks.


  • The plight of illegal migrants underscores the multifaceted challenges faced by individuals driven to extreme measures due to distress in their homeland. The incident involving the return of Indians from a French airport is a stark reminder of the need for comprehensive solutions. Combating trafficking, addressing farming crises, and promoting legal awareness are essential components of a holistic approach to curb illegal migration.