The illegal promise of a Nepali American Dream

Being an American and enjoying democratic freedom and prosperity became the American Dream for people living in third world countries. Many Nepalese also has an American Dream to board flight for the US and settle there, and get rid of the so-called democracy that ruined their future in Nepal.

There have been harrowing stories of Nepalese trying to get through the United States from the Mexican border. 

Nepalese survivors who have been through the situation tell their escape stories of how they took steps to fulfil their American dream. The shared stories are shivering, heartrending, and mind-boggling to their listeners and facers. 

As we all know, the US immigration authorities must approve your entry before you enter the country. In the same way, remaining in the US without permission after an expired visa, work visa, or another authorized stay is not allowed. It is illegal to stay in the United States when a non-citizen violates the terms of a legal entry.

Here we will discuss the hardships Nepalese illegal immigrants face when crossing the Mexican border, the investments brokers offer, and the reasons for obtaining investments through illicit channels.  

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What encourages the Nepalese to take up the illegal border crossing channel?

Unlike the other Nepalese, who plan their USA journey a year in advance, these illegal Nepalese immigrants plan their trip to the USA within two days. 

Generally, for any ordinary Nepalese people, the journey to the USA begins from giving GRE/GMAT tests for taking up a higher degree in the USA, writing SOPs to the universities for the scholarships, and offering letters which then ends on the visa interview. Yes, the USA dreamer’s final verdict lies on the US Embassy’s territory. 

While the case is not the same for the Nepalese migrants taking an illegal approach, a month is needed to gather the brokerage amount and a day to fly out of Nepal. 

The reason shared by the immigrants Kiran to the Nepali Times was the constant harassment he faced during the civil war in Nepal. He states that he sensed no freedom in living in Nepal during the crisis, which encouraged him to think about the American dream. 

There is an assumption, there are hundreds of Nepalese immigrants like Kiran in Mexico who are still finding ways to cross the Mexico-Texas border. Nepalese migrants who managed to reach the United States and speak back to their families in Nepal are expected still to pay their pending brokerage dues to the traffickers. 

Hardship faced by the Nepalese migrants 

Most of the illegal immigrants from Nepal, India and Bangladesh board flights to those countries which require ‘NO VISA’. The flight usually takes off from Kathmandu to Kuala Lumpur, which gets changed to transit to Sao Paulo. On reaching the destination of Sao Paulo, the migrants are transferred by bus to Bolivia, then to Peru, Ecuador, and Columbia. 

After that, the journey continues on foot. Between Columbia and Panama, the Nepalese migrants walk through the thick tropical jungle for 2-3 days without food, water, and shelter. The journey also leads to crocodile-infested waters, flimsy boats and negotiating with the criminal gangs during the dense jungle walk. 

On reaching Panama, a bus takes the Nepalese migrants to Guatemala. All the Nepalese migrants are handled in a cramped truck for continuous 30 hours from Guatemala. On arriving in Mexico, they are taken to various entry points of the USA, which mainly are Arizona, Texas, and California borders. 

There is an endless walk from the entry points for months to reach the destinations. The number of pending immigration cases have tripled each year, making it one of the top ten countries where immigration cases are pending. 

How much brokerage charge must an individual Nepali pay reach the USA?

There is no doubt that the brokerage charge is high. However, the dream of landing in America and being an American pushed these Nepalese migrants to go through the extremities. Narendra Basnet from Dang was lured with the same American story with earnings of $5000 every month and a green card. 

The idea did lure Basnet, which demanded nearly $63,000 (Rs.70 lacs) and a lifetime of phycological pain. The journey for Basnet lasted for almost eight months, where he spent four months in Mexico without connecting with any of the family members.

While the family asked the broker about Basnet about the agent making additional Rs. 50,0000 and then Rs.20,00000. 

The stories of illegal Nepalese immigrants are psychologically straining and financially burdening not only to the migrant but to their families who are left behind in Nepal. 

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The illegal promise of a Nepali American Dream - NepaliPage

Was any action taken by the Nepalese government or USA government?

The rules of illegal migrants in the USA are strict. If they are caught while transferring from Mexico to the USA, the immigrants are held behind bars. However, if the migrant’s pledge for the Asylum and their case gets approved by the legal attorney, migrants can obtain a work permit after 150 days. They can also apply for a green card within a year. 

However, if the US government does not approve the case, then there is always that fear of getting caught as an illegal immigrant in the USA. 

For Nepal, there is a human trafficking law, which grips the brokers, as of compensation, no such rules or verdict are given to the victim’s family. 

An undocumented immigrant might qualify for Temporary Protected Status in the USA

The United States might offer Temporary Protected Status (TPS) to residents who come from countries that have recently experienced civil war, environmental disasters, or other troubles that make it unsafe for them to return.

A green card cannot be obtained through this process. Nonetheless, TPS would allow you to remain here legally for a set period (maximum 18 months), including working while here. Details and a list of eligible countries can be found on the TPS page of the USCIS website. 

Undocumented immigrants may apply for Asylum to obtain a green card

If you qualify for Asylum and apply within one year of entering the US or after your authorized stay has ended, Nepali immigrants may apply for the right to remain in the US. The foundation for your application will be your persecution or fear there will be persecution because of your race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or membership in a specific social group.

It is necessary to submit a USCIS Form I-589 along with evidence of your membership in the group you claim as well as any persecution you experienced or fear.

You can apply for a green card a year later and citizenship four years later following your asylum application. Unless you show that torture would likely occur upon your return, you could be deported if denied.

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