The United States consulate in Hyderabad is working to resolve the issue of multiple deportations of Indian students headed to two California-based universities by American immigration authorities but hasn’t blacklisted the institutes, consular general Michael Mullins said on Tuesday.
This is the first time a US official has spoken on the controversy surrounding the deportation of around 200 students belonging to Andhra Pradesh and Telangana in the past two weeks, prompting the ministry of external affairs (MEA) to take the issue up with the US.
“This is a very serious issue and our embassy in Delhi is in touch with the MEA to resolve it. I am also meeting the Telangana CMO officials. Please do not think we are indifferent to the student’s concerns,” Mullins told HT. Telangana IT minister KT Rama Rao met Mullins to take up the issue.
Almost all the students were headed to two Californian universities — Northwestern Polytechnic and Silicon Valley — but were stopped by the US immigration officials. Some of the deported students told HT the two universities were shown to them as blacklisted by US immigration officials but Mullins said they were not blacklisted. “The two universities are not blacklisted but in any case the visa we issue can take you till the port of entry. Thereafter it is up to the immigration officers to allow you entry,” Mullins said.
He reiterated the importance of Hyderabad and the two Telugu states in the relations between the two nations. “Hyderabad is the fourth in the world in sending students to the US, the first three cities being in China,” he said.
The statement came a day after a student from Hyderabad alleged she was handcuffed and locked up by immigration officials there at an airport.