Real Story of Dunki | How Indians Cross US Mexico Border? | Donkey Process | Viksolve

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Credit: Real Story of Dunki | How Indians Cross US Mexico Border? | Donkey Process | Viksolve

Donkey Process

Hello, friends! Located 13 km away from the capital of Gujarat, Gandhinagar, Dingucha is a village with a population of around 3000 people, but over half of the houses stand vacant and locked. Approximately 1,800 villagers have moved away, not only leaving their village but also the country. 

“They couldn’t get jobs, it’d be better abroad.” “If we don’t go to America, our children would have a rough life here.” You can see such posters all over Dingucha. ‘Study in UK, Canada’ ‘Free Application’ ‘Offer Letter in 3 Days’ The thing that is most advertised in this village is a US or Canada visa. 

Many ads guarantee that you’ll get a visa without any exams. In January 2022, seeing their fellow villagers going to America, a family in Dingucha decided to follow them. 39-year-old Jagdish Patel, his wife, and their 2 children, boarded a flight to go to Canada. 

Jagdish was a former teacher in the village, but lately, he would help his brother with his garment business. But he could earn only a modest monthly income of ₹9,000 – ₹10,000. It’s obvious that they were driven to this decision due to poverty and unemployment. 

Credit: The Patel family managed to raise ₹6.5 million to engage the services of an agent to take them to America,

The Patel family managed to raise ₹6.5 million to engage the services of an agent to take them to America, using the ‘donkey process.’ His wife Vaishali Ben dreamt of working at a beauty salon in America. And Jagdish wanted to give his children better education. With these hopes, they left their village, On January 12, the Patels took a flight to Toronto, The ‘donkey process’ involved the agent dropping them near the US-Canada border, where they were expected to go the remaining distance on foot, crossing the American border illegally. 

Tragically, within a week of their arrival in Toronto, the family’s lifeless bodies were discovered by the police, a mere 12 meters away from the border. The harsh reality of the freezing weather, proved fatal for the family of four. 

Perhaps they were unaware that they would need to cross the border with temperatures plunging to -35°C, A tragic end to their story. But Jagdish’s family wasn’t the only one to meet such an end. Each year, thousands of Indians try to illegally immigrate to countries like the US and the UK. Using this ‘donkey process’ Unfortunately, numerous individuals lose their lives attempting this. 

This is why the US-Mexico border is the World’s Most Dangerous Border. Shedding light on this issue, there’s a new film made by Rajkumar Hirani and Shahrukh Khan Dunki. So let’s take this opportunity to understand this process better. So, let’s discover the intricacies of this ‘donkey process’ in this article. 

This process of going to a country without a legal visa, The backdoor illegal entry, is termed as ‘donkey flight’ or the ‘donkey process’. Initially, this term was associated with the UK exclusively, many Indians went to the UK like this. First, they went to the Schengen zone of Europe, the zone of 27 European countries, where only the Schengen visa is required. WIth the Schengen visa, one can cross borders into any of these countries. 

Also Read: Dunki Box Office Collection, Animal Box Office Collection, Jawan Box Office Collection, Dunki

Although the UK was not part of the Schengen zone, its proximity to Europe, allowed individuals to go to the UK through various routes in Europe, such as traveling in trucks, cars, or even walking for extended hours. 

Migration Policy Institute data indicates that even a decade ago, about 150 Indians were deported from the UK monthly. However, today, the ‘donkey process’ has evolved to encompass various backdoor entries, with a shift in preference toward entering the United States rather than the UK. 

In India, numerous visa agencies and companies facilitate this process, with agents involved in transporting individuals termed as ‘donkers.’ Two Indian states are renowned for being the primary exporters of illegal immigrants, Gujarat and Punjab. But due to rising unemployment in recent years, Haryana has also entered this competitive arena. 

The amount charges by these agencies for their services varies based on the package chosen, I’m not kidding, they do offer different packages, such as a deluxe travel package, which includes forging fake documents and travel assistance, as well as more economical packages. 

For those seeking a budget option, agencies may drop individuals near the border, leaving them to complete the journey on foot. Depending on the chosen package, these agencies can charge anywhere from ₹2.5 million to ₹6 million. Individuals who fall prey to these companies either do not realise that regular visa fees are never this high or they are the ones who fail to get a regular visa. They may fail to meet some requirements to get a visa. 

Consequently, they may feel that they have no alternatives to making these payments. Given the illegal nature of this process, regular visa applications are circumvented. Tragically, to get this large sum of money, individuals end up selling their farms and homes or depleting their entire life savings. 

Some blame and responsibility must be assigned to these agencies and companies as they often mislead people with false promises. They assure applicants not only of a smooth journey to America but also of abundant job opportunities, conveniently concealing the real challenges and legal hurdles that lie ahead. 

Many individuals who do not know of these matters, are easy to trap. These companies are exploiting the information gap. However, today you can use AI software like ChatGPT to get all the information you need. 

You don’t need to rely on others; Understanding the immigration processes of various countries, their visa requirements, and travel expenses can be explained by ChatGPT in a simple manner and in Hindi. How can you use this software to benefit from it? I’ve created a comprehensive 4.5-hour course in Hindi to explain this. 

Detailing step-by-step instructions on how you can use it I’ve talked about it in previous articles too, but you might not know that in this course, I’ve dedicated a specific lesson for studying abroad. If you’re considering studying abroad, you don’t need to depend on consultants; ChatGPT can provide the necessary information. 

There’s also a lesson on travel planning, enabling you to plan your journey without relying on travel agents. You can do it all by yourself. Other chapters cater to the specific needs of students, employees, business owners, or individuals managing household tasks. Thousands who have taken this course have found it immensely useful, as reflected in their reviews as you can see on the screen. 

Next month, I’ll be sharing a significant update on this course. If you haven’t enrolled yet, you’ll find the link in the description below. Or you can scan this QR Code. 

The first 400 people using the coupon code DUN40 will enjoy a 40% discount, so be sure to check it out. Returning to the Patel family’s story, they hadn’t told many people where they were going. On January 12th, after arriving in Toronto, they traveled to the Manitoba province in Canada, located 2,100 km away. 

A week later, they were dropped near the town Emerson, a small town as you can see on this map. On the Canadian side, close to the American border, near North Dakota and Minnesota. When their bodies were discovered, there were no signs of a vehicle nearby, indicating that they had been walking for a long time. 

The day their bodies were discovered, in Canada, a 47-year-old US citizen, named Steve Shand was arrested, 8 km from Emerson. He was driving a 15-seater van with two Gujaratis as passengers. Subsequently, five more Gujaratis were found 400 meters into American territory. 

When they were caught by the authorities, they claimed to have been walking for 11 hours. One individual among these 5 individuals carried a backpack with diapers, toys, and clothes for kids. They said that it wasn’t their bag. 

They said that there were 4 other people with them, who got lost along the way. The bag belonged to that family. Despite the failed attempt, at least these seven individuals survived. Later, they and the American citizen were arrested by American authorities. 

The northern border of America, shared with Canada, can experience temperatures as low as -35°C to -40°C. While some might consider the southern border with Mexico a better option, but the southern US-Mexico border poses even greater dangers.

Those attempting the ‘donkey process’ through this route, face even more challenges. “We came to America through the Donkey way, only four of us have survived. 

We haven’t eaten and have been walking for 5 days straight in these forests of Mexico.” “Bro, the thing is that our parents are alone back at home in India, they have paid ₹3.5 – ₹4 million. We haven’t even talked to our parents for nearly 2 months “”I want to say this to all of you, No one should use this Donkey process. Use the legal route only.” 

The ‘Donkey route’ originating from South America begins in Ecuador or Brazil, two countries where obtaining visas is comparatively easier for Indians. In Ecuador, a visa was not required before 2019. However, once you arrive, you embark on an extensive journey covering thousands of kilometers. 

Traveling North through Colombia and Panama to Mexico. In the middle of it is a dense jungle over 100 kilometers wide, known as the Darien Gap. There are no roads in this area. there are only mountains, forests, bushes, and rivers. 

There are no government authorities in this area, it is considered one of the most dangerous places globally since drug cartels and guerrilla groups use this route regularly. Tragically, individuals using this route often fall victim to gang violence, “We just found out, one of the guys traveling with us d!ed. 

The donker shot him. His body was discovered recently. Some agents do not pay the donkers in full, so the donkers k!ll the travellers. Many people have lost lives like this. I have heard news of bodies not being discovered for over 3 months in the jungle.” 

After surviving the perils of this forest, migrants encounter Mexico’s scorching desert and eventually they face the imposing wall this high wall that was most likely constructed during Donald Trump’s presidency. Crossing this barrier presents a formidable challenge. The treacherous nature of this journey is underscored by the alarming article from 2021. 

Over 650 people d!ed in a year while trying to cross the US-Mexico border. Given the apparent dangers, a fundamental question arises: Despite the path being so difficult and perilous, why do people invest millions of rupees in the ‘donkey process’ and willingly jeopardize their lives? Three main reasons underpin this decision. 

Let’s discuss each of them. The first and predominant reason is the pursuit of economic opportunities. The individuals who want to go abroad, for better opportunities and a better life. They believe in the American Dream.

They believe that once they reach America, their lives will change for the better. Generally, those who belong to the upper class or upper-middle class are also motivated by similar aspirations to leave the country. However, they have access to legal means. They have good enough jobs, they can apply for jobs abroad. Or they have the relevant educational qualifications to study at foreign universities. 

However, those belonging to the lower middle class cannot opt for these legal means because they don’t have either the money or the qualifications. Mitesh Trivedi, who left India 30 years ago for Canada, told BBC that Despite being a highly educated engineer in India, he couldn’t move ahead in his career. 

Credit: told BBC that Despite being a highly educated engineer in India

“I was born lower-middle class. If I had stayed, I would have died lower-middle class.” Ultimately, he obtained Canadian citizenship in 2000 and now has a profitable restaurant in Canada. Similar success stories like Mitesh Trivedi’s are found all across the country. 

When families and friends hear these success stories, it often generates hope. Consequently, more people are motivated to do the same. These success stories often put societal or family pressures on their families. 

If every other person in a village is going abroad to America, people might see it as a matter of the family’s reputation to have at least one family member settle abroad. Or else, they might not be respected in the village. 

The data on it is shocking! Look at this chart. As per the US Customs and Border Protection, The number of Indians attempting illegal entry into the US has increased significantly year-on-year. This number was negligible in 2013, but since 2017, in fact after 2019, look at the significant increase! More than 30,000 Indians attempted this in 2020-21. 

The number doubled to 63,927 in 2021-22, And the latest datapoint that is missing on this graph, is even higher. Between October 2022 and September 2023, this number further escalated to 96,000. Nearly 100,000 Indians try to enter the US illegally in a year. Of the 96,917 Indians, 30,000 individuals were caught in Canada. And 41,000 near Mexico. 

This issue extends beyond India, with individuals from various countries attempting the ‘Donkey process’ to enter the US. The number of Mexicans doing this is higher than Indians. Largely due to Mexico sharing the border with the US. However, among Asian countries, India tops the list. 

The Center for Migration Studies in 2015 revealed that about 450,000 Indians were found undocumented in America, a number slightly higher than China’s, almost at 400,000. Additional country-wise data is displayed on the screen. Now, let’s delve into the second reason prompting individuals into doing this. 

Rising unemployment in the country. This issue has particularly driven many people from Haryana in recent years. According to a September 2022 report by the Center for Monitoring Indian Economy, Haryana holds the top spot in the country for unemployment, the highest rate of unemployment is in Haryana. With a staggering 37.3% being unemployed. four times the national average.

This high rate is notably prevalent in rural areas outside the cities. Faced with dire conditions in their home country, these individuals feel that opting for this life-threatening path offers them a better alternative to their current circumstances. 

Thousands of unemployed people in the villages, are resorting to selling family land and gold to raise funds for this risky endeavor. Villages like Dhatrath, Morkhi, and Kalwa in the Jind district of Haryana have become hubs for individuals seeking the ‘donkey process.’ 

There’s another route too. Going to Dubai on a tourist visa. staying at shady hotels without food, and traveling to other countries in secret containers. Such was the story of Nishchay Sharma, a 20-something-year-old from Haryana, since he had a weak educational background, he couldn’t go abroad on a student or job visa. So he opted for the Donkey Flight. 

According to him, he was quite lucky, reaching his destination within 5 months. He reached California after travelling through 9 countries, navigating jungles and extreme weather. 

He claimed that this journey may take up to 2 years. People are often brutalised, imprisoned, or some may even lose their lives on the way. The Haryanvi youth expressed frustration with the toxic cycle of joblessness and instances of paper leaks of entrance exams. 

However, many people do not fully realise the inherent dangers of this path. The third significant reason behind individuals choosing the ‘donkey process’ is escaping political persecution. People who flee their country because of instances of oppression or discrimination against them. 

Technically, according to Border Patrol, this is the most commonly reported reason. However, is this the biggest motivation behind taking the ‘donkey flight’? Here’s an interesting fact for you: Have you ever wondered what individuals on the ‘donkey route’ do after crossing the border? Do they keep hiding from the police and start a new life in secret? It’s not quite like that. 

Surprisingly, most people willingly surrender themselves to the Border Patrol, the very guards stationed at the border. Rather than attempting to evade authorities, they willingly go with them. 

The primary reason for this is to seek asylum. Asylum, as defined by the United Nations Refugee Agency, is a form of protection. When someone seeks asylum in a country, that country agrees to protect them, allowing the individual to live in the country, acknowledging that they face danger in their home country. 

This danger could be political, where someone might face harm or even d3ath. It could also involve religious or racial discrimination. Individuals who take the ‘donkey route’ often approach the Border Patrol, stating that they are seeking asylum. 

There are about 5 or 6 categories of persecution including religious persecution, if there is discrimination against you due to your religious beliefs, if there are crimes committed against you, Then is the political persecution, where a person is threatened because of their political beliefs. 

If someone is threatened because of their ethnic or regional identity. Another form is caste-based persecution, where the person is oppressed because of their caste. Or the social group persecution. If there is violence against the social group you are a part of. Such as women or the LGBT+ community. 

Technically, there can be many reasons. While those who illegally follow this route may cite any of these reasons, the determination of whether these claims are valid or justified falls under the jurisdiction of an immigration judge. Individuals applying for asylum after crossing the border must present their case in immigration court, providing justification and reasoning. 

It is crucial to prove in court that the claims made are genuine. Understandably, many people may lie, concealing their actual reasons. Either of the two reasons I stated before this. In such cases, individuals face deportation, The millions they spent already, all amounting to nothing. 

Moreover, being caught lying could result in a ban, prohibiting future legal travel to America. Here, it is important to acknowledge that some individuals genuinely face these circumstances that drive them to take the ‘donkey flight.’ For instance, the story of Jashanpreet Singh, from Jalandhar, In this report it is mentioned, Jashan was a 24-year-old openly gay man living in Jalandhar. 

He faced daily discrimination and harassment, doled out by neighbors to people who vaguely knew him. Things turned so bad that one day things escalated from verbal abuse to him being physically attacked. He recalls how he was attacked by a mob of 15-20 people trying to kill him. 

This led to one of his hands being mutilated. He considered moving to another city in India. He remained afraid since the Indian culture isn’t very open-minded in LGBT+ issues. Eventually, he chose the ‘donkey route’ through Turkey and France to reach the Mexican border somehow, through which, he entered America. 

Jashanpreet applied for asylum after crossing the border. It was granted to him. The question arises: Why choose the ‘donkey route’? The straightforward answer is that asylum is granted to only those individuals physically present in the country.

According to US’s rules, for asylum in America, one must be on American soil. However, such cases are rare, and it is crucial to note that economic migration doesn’t fall under the category of asylum. Individuals undergoing the asylum process often endure months or even years of investigation, including potential mistreatment or torture. 

Processing asylum applications can take years, and even after you’ve lived in America for years, they might end up deciding that you were lying, and so there’s a risk of deportation. It’s also important to remember that upon crossing the border, individuals are not immediately presented in immigration court. 

Instead, they are first placed in detention centers, with people living in terrible conditions. There are detention centres where a large number of people are locked in a small room. And they have to stay there for weeks or months, until the authorities call for them. “The officers are nice. The officers, yes. 

They treat you well here. But as I told you, you’re locked inside. You’re not free. You’re depressed.” In conclusion, I want to say one simple thing. It is essential to remember that life is invaluable, putting your life on the stake, and choosing such risky paths would not be worthwhile. 

If you enjoyed this article, you might also appreciate the analysis of Shahrukh Khan’s recent film, ‘Jawaan,’ where I discuss the social issues portrayed. On which real issues was the film focusing? I have explained it in this article. Thank you very much!

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