British Minister for Immigration Damian Green on Tuesday urged the Punjab government to help the British High Commission in proper verification of people applying for visa to his country.
The British minister met Chief Minister Parkash Singh Badal in Chandigarh on Tuesday and urged him to direct Punjab police to ensure antecedents of visa applicants are checked properly so that illegal migration could be checked.
Green also sought the chief minister's personal intervention to nab unscrupulous travel agents who were aiding people in illegal migration to Britain.
"This (illegal migration) ultimately lands our innocent people, especially the unemployed youth, in deep trouble. Many of them want to go abroad in search of greener pastures after selling their property," Badal pointed out.
"Currently, we are deporting around 100 illegal immigrants to India every month. It is an example of enhanced cooperation between UK authorities and their Indian counterparts," Green said.
"Besides, around 200 illegal Indian immigrants are currently lodged in different jails of the UK. We have observed that from big countries, with huge population, we are getting more number of illegal immigrants," he said.
"We cannot say that we are getting maximum illegal immigrants from India as we also have huge numbers from China, Nigeria and Pakistan," the British minister said.
Thousands of migrants from Punjab have settled in Britain in the last 7-8 decades. The Doaba belt, the area between rivers Sutlej and Beas, comprising of Jalandhar, Hoshiarpur, Kapurthala and Nawanshahr districts, is known for non-resident Indians (NRIs) and migrants to other countries, especially Britain.