Forty-nine Bangladeshis were deported yesterday for their illegal entry into the US. They had left Bangladesh for the US without having proper knowledge about their journey to the United States of America.
Thinking the USA as a better option to earn more and bring solvency to their families, the Bangladeshis took risk of their lives and reached their destination after travelling through 10 to 12 other countries.
They used air, water and land routes in their long journey. They travelled through the UAE, Bolivia, Brazil, Venezuela, Ecuador, Columbia, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, Honduras, Guatemala and Mexico and finally entered California in the US on different times.
Later, they were caught by the US immigration police and landed in jail. After serving different jail terms from one year to two years, they were finally deported yesterday.
The Bangladeshis reached Hazrat Shahjalal International Airport by a special US airline flight around 3:00am, said Kamal Uddin, 40, one of the returnees.
The US police interrogated them several times and contacted the Bangladesh embassy in Washington DC. All the Bangladeshis sought political asylum in the US, said Kamal, from Noakhali.
However, this correspondent could not communicate with the embassy for its comments.
The US courts held hearings to settle the issue and finally rejected their appeals and ordered them to be sent back home last year.
Contacted, Ann B McConnell, public affairs officer for the US embassy in Dhaka, told The Daily Star via an e-mail that the US Department of Homeland Security is the lead US government agency on deportation and asylum.
“While I cannot comment on specific cases, I would like to affirm our understanding that the cases you [this correspondent] are referring to were handled appropriately under the US law,” the official added.
“The individuals were afforded due process under the US judicial system. The people involved were afforded numerous procedural protections, including but not limited to, the right to be represented by an attorney, to contest any charges of deportation, and to present evidence and to examine any evidence against them,” the official further mentioned.
Talking to The Daily Star, Kamal said he along with two other Bangladeshis left for the United States, the world's largest economy, on July 20, 2014.
The cheated jobseekers had to pay minimum Tk 10 to 30 lakh each to the brokers who were mainly Bangladeshis based in different countries.
“One Dulal of Noakhali promised me to arrange a good job for me in America. The broker told me to go to Brazil where he was staying. Then I decided to leave the country,” Kamal mentioned.
He first went to Dubai, then to Bolivia where he got two others from Sylhet. Later, he found another two -- Sagor and Hasan from Noakhali -- after reaching Mexico.
Finally, they in a group of seven people, including Africans, entered the US through the Mexico border on October 5, 2014.
They were caught by the US immigration police and sent to a detention centre in California where they had to spend 23 months before returning home.
Contacted, Bangladesh immigration police said they didn't have any information about the return of the Bangladeshis.