The students who were detained by the US Customs and Border Protection Agency at the port of entry for more than 20 hours were examined by officials for hours and were then huddled in return flights to India.
All 22 students were again detained by the RGIA officials who questioned them for another eight hours.
They were allowed to leave their homes around 11 am after the interference of Telangana state deputy Chief Minister Mohammad Mahmood Ali who was at the airport to catch a flight. Vijayalaxmi, a mother of one of the students deported from the US, said her daughter was threatened by the US officials who reportedly said that they would ban her from entering the US for 5 years if she refused to return home.
Soumya and Chandana, two other students from Karimnagar and Vijayawada, said that they will never return to that country after the ill-treatment meted out.
Yet another student who got admission in Southern Illinois University said that only Telugu students were discriminated against.
“I have seen students from other countries separated from us to form different queues…we were treated like criminals. We were denied to make a phone call even,” Rajesh a native of Visakhapatnam said.
The bureau of Homeland security is checking jobs students on F-1 visas are doing extreme of their institution of study, and if found to be working illegally, deporting them, going by a report in The Times of India.
The report, from Hyderabad, quoted a student, named Srikanth P., who had been deported, saying: “After reaching Hyderabad airport, I met a student who was already in the USA and was deported for working there. He was working there at an eatery and had intended to leave his job fearing deportation but was caught on the last day of his job. The authorities checked with the eatery after he left and went back to the university to question his eligibility to work.”
A consultant in the education business, P. Anil Kumar, Director, Youthworld Consulting, was quoted as saying in the same Times report: “Most universities allow the students to work legally once they are on a curricular practical training (CPT) or optional practical training (OPT) programs. And in these cases, they are not deported. Students are being scrutinized heavily now. Authorities are even going back to universities and checking on student attendance, checking with local part time jobs and deporting students now. As there are ample part-time jobs, most students take up jobs on landing there. Shocked by the recent deportations, many students have already left jobs.”
The issue of students deported from various airports in the US to Hyderabad continued on Sunday too, with 10 more deported students landing there, the Times reported. The students landed at the Shamshabad airport, taking the count to 25 on Saturday and Sunday. Immigration department officials hinted at more deported students expected to reach here through Sunday night.
The report said deported students share stories of how “intense combing on all part time illegal jobs in places like gas stations, supermarkets, and eateries have prompted many of their friends to give up on the $ 5- 6 per hour jobs that many survive on.”