|Demand of the question
Introduction. Contextual Introduction.
Body. Discuss various consequences of illegal migration in India. Mention various provisions and laws to tackle illegal non-citizens.
Conclusion. Way forward.
India has been witnessing immigration since independence. People who have faced religious and political persecution, economic and social discrimination, cultural repression and curbs on personal freedom have made India their home.Of all kinds of migration, illegal migration has become the most volatile and contentious issue in Indian polity today because of the socio-political conflicts it has brought in its wake. Illegal migration comprises of people across national borders in a way that violates the immigration laws of the destination country.
Consequences of Illegal Migration in India:
- Clashes due to Insecurity: Illegal migration has resulted in periodic clashes between the citizens of India and migrants, leading to their loss of life and property, and thereby violating their constitutional rights.
- Political Instability: Conflict over scarce resources, economic opportunities and cultural dominance ensues between the locals and migrants, along with the resultant political instability caused by the mobilisation of popular perception against the migrants by the elites to grab political power.
- Disturbance in Law and Order: The rule of law and integrity of the country are undermined by the illegal migrants who are engaged in illegal and anti-national activities, such as entering the country clandestinely, fraudulently acquiring identity cards, exercising voting rights in India and resorting to trans-border smuggling and other crimes.
- Rise of Militancy: The persistent attacks against the Muslims perceived as illegal migrants in Assam has given way to radicalisation within certain sections of the Muslim community with the formation of militant organisations, such as the Muslim United Liberation Tigers of Assam (MULTA).
- Human trafficking: In the recent decades, trafficking of women and human smuggling have become quite rampant across the borders. Poverty and hunger forces either the parents to sell the girls to traffickers or the girls themselves leave home and fall prey to traffickers.
- Tighter Border Controls: Indian government implemented a series of schemes, such as augmenting the manpower of the border-guarding force, increasing the number of border outposts along the border, constructing fences and issuance of multiple identity cards to border population.
Reasons for Illegal Migration in India:
- Political Factors: Political factors have been one of the major reasons in forcing the Bangladeshi and Pakistani Hindus out of the country and into India.
- Religious Discrimination: In Bangladesh, the already discriminatory land laws were further manipulated by vested interest groups and corrupt administrators to dispossess and alienate the Hindus from their own land and property.Religion has a particular effect in the case of the Rohingya Crisis.
- Growing Population: Growing population creates greater demands on resources such as land, food, energy, water and forest products, and their consequent overuse results in deterioration of quality.This process, in turn, encourages inequality in resource distribution among the rich and poor as the rich corner them and deny the poor their share.
- Stagnant Economic Growth and Lack of Employment: Industrialisation in India’s neighbouring countries has not been able to keep pace with the growing labour force and as a result, the unemployment rate is declining.The working-age people who are unable to find jobs in the country look outside for employment opportunities.
- Porous Borders: India shares long and porous international border with Bangladesh, Nepal and Bhutan. The border traverses a range of natural and cultural landscapes, which pose a challenge to its effective management.
Legal Framework in India:
- Article 51 states that the state shall endeavour to foster respect for international lawand treaty obligations in the dealings of organized people with one another.As the Citizenship Act 1955, an illegal immigrant can be:
- Foreign national who enters India on valid travel documents and stays beyond their validity, or
- Foreign national who enters without valid travel documents.
- The Foreigners Act, 1946, gives the central government the right to deport a foreign national.
- India is not a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention and 1967 Protocolrelating to the Status of Refugees, and it does not currently have a national law on refugees.
- While law and order is a State subject under the Indian Constitution, international relations and international borders are under the exclusive purview of the Union government. This has resulted in a variety of agencies, both of the Central as well as the State governments, having to deal with refugee matters connected with law enforcement.
- In 2011, the Union government circulated to all states and Union Territories a Standard Operating Procedure to deal with foreign nationals who claimed to be refugees.So, India does not have on its statute book a specific and separate law to govern refugees.
- NRC in Assam: A National Register of Citizens (NRC), containing information for each individual such as the father’s name or husband’s name, nationality, sex, age, means of livelihood, was prepared by the Assam government in 1951. The NRC was aimed to help identify and verify genuine Indian citizens and repatriate foreigners. Now, the Assam government has recently released the updated version of NRC.
- The Foreigner’s Tribunals of 1964: These tribunals had the power to take up cases to decide whether a person is foreigner or not, as specified in the Foreigners Act of 1946.
- Multipurpose Identity Card: In 2010, Aadhaar Project was launched to provide a unique identity number to each resident of India and the Unique Identification.
- Amendment to Citizenship Act: The Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016 aims to provide citizenship to those who had been forced to seek shelter in India because of religious persecution or fear of persecution in their home countries. They are primarily Hindus, Sikhs, Jains, Buddhists, Parsis and Christians from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh.
It is obligation for state to work for the rights of humans in general especially citizens of its state. India has also voted affirmatively to adopt the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, which affirms rights for all persons, citizens and non-citizens alike. Thus, it is important to tackle issue of illegal migration very carefully in order to work towards human rights.