India holds key to deportation of Indian-American orphan Shepherd

India holds key to deportation of Indian-American orphan Shepherd

 India holds the key to the deportation of Kairi Abha Shepherd, who is facing the prospect of forcibly being sent back to her country of birth, where she was adopted by an American woman 30 years ago.

Indian-American orphan Shepherd, who has said that deportation would be like "death sentence" to her, under US laws can't be sent back to India unless the Indian government provides necessary travel documents for her.

"Before carrying out a deportation, ICE (US Immigration and Customs Enforcement) must first obtain a travel document to ensure the receiving country will admit the alien who is being returned," ICE spokesperson Lori K Haley told PTI without commenting on the deportation case of Shepherd.

"Once ICE obtains a travel document, the agency then proceeds to make transportation arrangements. Completing the removal process can take varying amounts of time, depending on the country involved and the circumstances of the case," Haley said.

ICE routinely receives notification from the courts regarding rulings involving aliens who have matters pending with ICE. In cases where the courts uphold a final order of removal, ICE then reviews the matter to determine appropriate next steps, she said.

In her statement Kairi Shepherd did refer to that fact that a lot depends on the issuing of travel documents by the Ministry of External Affairs.

"I especially want to thank the kind souls in India who are working tirelessly on my behalf and, in particular, the men and women in the Ministry of External Affairs who reportedly may deny the issuance of travel documents, thus preventing my forced departure from America. Their hearts must be filled with compassion and I truly appreciate their efforts as these efforts, quite literally, may save my life," Shepherd said in a statement.

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