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Deportation from US will be death for me: Kairi

It is a legal matter in the US and the government of India cannot interfere in it, say officials in ministry of external affairs. Chetan Chauhan reports. What next?

delhi Updated: May 25, 2012 01:50 IST
Chetan Chauhan
Chetan Chauhan
Hindustan Times
global orphan,Chetan Chauhan,New Delhi

Even as the government is pondering on how to help Indian-born global orphan Kairi Shepherd, she claims her deportation from US will amount to “death sentence”.

In the first statement after a US court allowed the Utah province government to deport her, Shepherd said deportation may force her to part with her physicians, family and friends. “And, could be death sentence to me,” read her emotional appeal.

It is because Kairi is suffering from multiple sclerosis, which affects brain and spinal cord. There is no known cure for multiple sclerosis and its have to be treated depending on the intensity of the attack.

Kairi’s present predicament is primarily because her late mother Erlene Shepherd failed to apply for her citizenship before dying when Kairi was eight. She, however, missed the automatic residence under the Citizenship Act of 2000 by few months as she crossed the eligible age of 21.

In between, she had been convicted of forging cheques to pay for her drug habit.

“I have paid publicly for the crimes, which I have committed and which have resulted in the order of deportation,” she said, adding she has taken responsibility for wrongs.

Kairi also negated the claims that she was hiding from immigration enforcement authorities saying it was not possible considering her health condition.

“Yes, I am afraid of being deported. Who wouldn't be in my condition? But, I have never been in hiding or concealed my whereabouts,” the statement read.

Expecting that ministry of external affairs will resist her deportation as she was adopted from a Kolkata orphanage 30 years ago, Kairi believes that the ministry may deny issuance of her travel documents, thereby preventing deportation.

Government sources in New Delhi, however, said they have not decided on the course of action to help Kairi.

“It is a legal matter in US and the government of India cannot interfere in it,” an official said.

First Published: May 24, 2012 23:08 IST