US probes reports of Sikh turbans being confiscated at Mexico border

by IANS |

Washington, Aug 4 (IANS) US authorities have said investigations were underway into reports that turbans of Sikh asylum seekers were confiscated after they were detained at the country's border with Mexico, the media reported.

According to the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU), nearly 50 Sikh migrants have had their turbans taken away, the BBC reported.

It said that the turban confiscations "blatantly violate federal law" and are inconsistent with the US Customs and Border Protection's (CBP) own non-discrimination policies.

In a letter sent to CBP Commissioner Chris Magnus on August 1, the ACLU called the seizures "ongoing, serious religious-freedom violations".

Meanwhile, Vanessa Pineda, a lawyer of the ACLU of Arizona, told the BBC that no proper explanation has been given about what, if any, security concerns a turban could raise.

"It's just not acceptable. They need to find another alternative and to stop this. It's dehumanising," she added.

In response, Magnus said the border agency expects its staff to "treat all migrants we encounter with respect", the BBC reported citing A Washington Post report.

"An internal investigation has been opened to address this matter," the CBP Commissioner was quoted as saying.

According to CBP statistics, nearly 13,000 Indian citizens, including many from Punjab, have been detained by Border Patrol officers at the US-Mexico border in the fiscal year that began in October 2021.

Of these, about three-quarters, or nearly 10,000, have been detained in the Border Patrol's Yuma sector, a 202 km expanse of desert and rocky mountains that stretches from California's Imperial Sand Dunes to the border between Arizona's Yuma and Pima counties.

Latest News
Live band performance at Dal Lake to commemorate Independence Day Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 05:03 PM
K'taka BJP urges Cong MLA to apologise to women for 'job over bed' remark Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 05:02 PM
The poet who first called for complete independence, coined 'Inquilab Zindabad' Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 04:50 PM
Goa Forward demands probe into tur dal wastage issue Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 04:47 PM
Delhi reports 5th monkeypox case Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 04:45 PM
Gujarat youth Congress slams Centre over inflation, unemployment Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 04:43 PM
On his way to celebrate Rakhi, Delhi man's throat slit with Chinese manjha Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 04:40 PM
TN to commence production of Pongal sarees, dhotis soon Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 04:37 PM
CBI arrests Revenue Department official in bribe case Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 04:35 PM
Cong Presidential poll process set to begin this month, no clarity on Rahul's role Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 04:27 PM
Taliban disperses women's rally in Kabul with warning shots, violence Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 03:51 PM
California chemical leak forces evacuation, freeway closure Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 03:48 PM
Shah Faesal appointed Deputy Secretary in Tourism Ministry Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 03:41 PM
Zelensky proposes extending martial law, general mobilisation Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 03:37 PM
Honey trap case: Upcoming Kannada actor arrested, case against 2 young woman in Karnataka Sat, Aug 13, 2022, 03:19 PM