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Home / US / US Border: Parents of the deceased Indian 6-year-old speak out

US Border: Parents of the deceased Indian 6-year-old speak out

The little girl was wearing a black short-sleeved shirt and black pants when she took her first steps in America.

Temperatures in the Arizona desert rose to 108 degrees shortly.

Gurupreet's mother left her with others when she was looking for water.

And she would never see her daughter alive again.

One day after the girl's entry to Arizona, border guards found her remains.

It was a tragic end to a journey that began in half a world.

They Forsake India in Search of Security

Gurupreet's parents talked for the first time since the death of their daughter on Monday about making the trek because they felt they had no other To have choice.

"We wanted a safer and better life for our daughter and made the extremely difficult decision to seek asylum here in the US," a statement by the nonprofit Sikh coalition said. "We trust that all parents, regardless of their origin, color or belief, understand that no mother or father will ever endanger their child unless they are desperate."

The girl's father, identified as A. Singh, was Mark Reading-Smith, program director of the Sikh coalition, who said he has been living in the United States since 201

3 and applied for asylum at the New York Immigration Court.

The girl's mother, identified as S. Kaur, crossed the border with her this month. It is not clear when mother and daughter left their homeland in the northern Indian state of Punjab or how exactly they made their way to the border between the US and Mexico.

Three more from India – another mother and daughter and one other woman – were also present when they crossed, US Customs and Border Guard said.

In recent years, according to Border Patrol statistics, there has been an increase in undocumented Indian migrants crossing the US-Mexico border.

Proponents say they have noticed the trend but do not know why more people from South Asia are traveling.

"We've been trying to figure this out," said Gujari Singh, Communications Director of the Sikh American Legal Defense and Education Fund. "Every case was a little different, there does not seem to be an exact cause … There's definitely some kind of movement, but we do not really know why."

Kaur is a surname of many Sikh women's shares. And after the coroner released her identity, the little girl's death triggered a wealth of responses from individuals and organizations who saw themselves in her name.
"The immigration crisis has a direct impact on the Sikh community," it says in a Facebook post-sharing of the news. "The death of Gurupreet Kaur is appalling and we have to make sure that never happens again."

Deepak Ahluwalia, an immigration lawyer in California who is on the board of the Sikh coalition, said the news was even more devastating when he learned of the little girl's name and realized that she was from Punjab.

"It hurts even more if you have a connection to this person … My parents were from Punjab, I represent many South Asians and it is only daunting to see such things," he said. Who are Sikhs and what do they believe in? "src-mini =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180430141521-usoa-sikhs-ron-1-00005225-small-169.jpg "src-xsmall =" // cdn.cnn.com /cnnnext/dam/assets/180430141521-usoa-sikhs-ron-1-00005225-medium-plus-169.jpg "src-small =" http://cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180430141521- usoa-sikhs-ron-1-00005225-large-169.jpg "src-medium =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180430141521-usoa-sikhs-ron-1-00005225-exlarge-169 .jpg "src-large =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180430141521-usoa-sikhs-ron-1-00005225-super-169.jpg "src-full16x9 =" // cdn.cnn .com / cnnnext / dam / assets / 180430141521-usoa-sikhs-ron-1-00005225-full-169.jpg "src-mini1x1 =" // cdn.cnn.com/cnnnext/dam/assets/180430141521-usoa- sikhs-ron-1-00005225-small-11.jpg "data-demand-load =" not-loaded "data-eq-pts =" mini: 0, xsmall: 221, small: 308, medium: 461, large: 781 "/>

A few days after hearing of the girl's death, Ahluwalia received a phone call on the Sikh coalition, which brings him into contact with her mother. He now represents her in immigration procedures. Her first appearance before the immigration court in New York is not yet planned, Ahluwalia said, but if she has a chance, she will apply for asylum.

The lawyer said he has not had a chance to discuss many details of her immigration case with the bereaved mother who was devastated by the death of her daughter.

"I just know that she was being persecuted by someone in her homeland," Ahluwalia said Monday.

More and more migrants from India are seeking asylum and fleeing political or religious persecution, Ahluwalia said. And even without knowing much about the case of this family, the fact that they decided to make the dangerous journey shows how desperate they must have been.

"This is not something that they thought was a walk through the park. They arrived there and learned how bad it was," he said. "It really makes you think about how bad the circumstances in your home country really are, so you want to take this journey and risk the life of your own child."

Crossing the border

On June 11, it was the morning when the smugglers dropped the group. Gurupreet traveled with a highway on the Mexican side of the border and asked them to go north.

The area, about 17 miles west of Lukeville, Arizona, is "extreme." It is rare for migrants to get there, "says Agent Pete Bidegain, a special representative for the Border Patrol Tucson sector.

"Frankly, there is hardly a more remote area on the southwestern frontier than this group crossed," he said.

There is no border wall there – just a series of 3-foot-high metal bars that were driven into the ground to prevent vehicles from crossing.

It was not long before Gurupreet and another kid in the group – an 8-year-old – had problems. [19659002] "Once they went north, they were in a real desert area," Bidegain said. "The little girls started badly from the beginning."

The group decided to split up. Gurupreet's mother went in search of water with another woman and left Gurupreet with the other mother and child.

"They could never find each other again," said Bidegain.

A day later, on the morning of June 12, a border guard spotted steps in the sand on a path. He came across the two women who were looking for water – and learned that the rest of their group was missing.

Agents searched the area for hours and found Gurupreet's remains.

It took more than a day of extra searching to find the other mother and child she had stayed with. They were taken to a hospital and treated for dehydration. The authorities do not know exactly how the group was separated – or what happened to them in the desert.

In search of answers

The authorities found that Gurupreet had died from a heat stroke.

"She" She crossed the desert in a very hot environment and succumbed to the elements, "said Gregory Hess, chief physician of the Pima County.

She was wearing a black short-sleeved shirt, black pants and a hair tie, Hess said ] Bidegain, the Border Patrol Agent, said the case is the kind of tragedy that is too common at the border, relying on cartel-based smuggling to cross the border is not worth the risk.

"You "We are a for-profit company and have no regard for the people who smuggle it," he said, "which is what we see again and again here on the border here in Arizona."

There are 70 immigrants so far this year According to Pima County Medical Examiner's Office, which records migrants' deaths, 127 people died in the region last year.

Interest groups state that government policies end the deaths of migrants Blame for the increasing toll.

  US asylum seekers face long waiting times or risky transitions, thanks to alleged capacity constraints

[19659014] Long waiting times at entry ports force asylum seekers to To cross more remote and dangerous places.

"When US Customs and Border Patrol escalated border control and aggressively rejected migrants attempting to cross the ports Englisch: www.moviesfilmonline.com / en / movies / oliver – twist "Migrants are immediately forced back into the dangerous conditions that CBP and other federal agencies often blame on traffickers and smugglers."

The group sent a letter to CBP last week requesting an immediate investigation into the death

"Despite the significant increase in budgets for DHS in general and for CBP in particular," the letter says, "the treatment of migrants has deteriorated significantly and we immediately deserve answers."

Preparing for a funeral

Gurupreet's parents had not seen each other since 2013, about six months after their birth.

Now planning the 3rd 3-year-old father and 27-year-old mother share the funeral of their daughter.

In Their Statement On Monday, parents asked for privacy and said their family was heartbroken over Gurupreet's death.

"We will bear the burden of losing our beloved Gurupreet for a lifetime," the statement said, "but we will continue to hold onto the ho. For example, America remains a compassionate nation based on the ideals of immigrants "Making the diversity of the nation their greatest strength."

The Sikh coalition said Friday will be a private funeral or Gurupreet in New York, "the city their family hoped to make their home.

CNN's beliefs Karimi and Sugam Pokharel contributed to this report.

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