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Day 58 – Q 5.What are your views on cross border immigration into India? Should India allow cross border immigrants to stay? Substantiate your views.

5. What are your views on cross border immigration into India? Should India allow cross border immigrants to stay? Substantiate your views. 

भारत में सीमा पार आप्रवासन पर आपके क्या विचार हैं? क्या भारत को सीमा पार प्रवासियों को रहने देना चाहिए? अपने विचारों सारगर्भित कीजिये।


An illegal immigrant in India is a person residing in the country without official permission as prescribed by relevant Indian law. Those who are explicitly granted refugee status do not fall under this category


India’s geostrategic location, its relatively sound economic position vis-à-vis its neighbours, and its liberal democratic credentials have long made it a magnet for people in other parts of the region who are fleeing persecution in their countries of origin or looking for a better life. Refugees/illegal immigrants from Tibet, Afghanistan, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Pakistan, and Bangladesh have found shelter in India. While refugees coming from other areas—including Tibet, Sri Lanka, Afghanistan, and Myanmar—have been dealt with in a somewhat systematic, although ad hoc, manner, the influx of refugees/illegal immigrants from Bangladesh has largely been left unattended.


  • As per the 2001 Census, Bangladeshis form the largest group of migrants in India followed by Pakistanis. 
  • The total number of illegal Bangladeshi immigrants in India at 1.5 crores, with around 3 lakh entering every year.
  • Citizenship claims of over 19 lakh people out of the total 40.7 lakh who had not found a place in last year’s draft NRC have been rejected.

India should allow cross border immigrants to stay:

  • On humanitarian background: Basic amenities and temporary shelter can be provided on humanity basis.
  • From our roots:  India is land of Mahatma Gandhiji, Mother Theresa etc. It is our duty to spread the word of humanity, sympathy and non-violence.
  • Can be a part of development: Immigrants can be given specific role and take part in growth and development.

India should not allow cross border immigrants to stay:

  • Criminal activities: Trans boundary drug trade, cattle smuggling, etc is often carried out using such illegal immigrants (Eg Punjab Drug menace and the North East especially Manipur). This can lead to rise in crime.
  • Instability in India: Many of the illegal immigrants are entering India in order to bring instability in India by terrorism and insurgency. They are helping Naxal movements too.
  • Demography changes: The demography of many places has been changed after huge influx of Bangladeshi illegal immigrants. Recent Assam crisis is an example. 
  • Burden on our resources: Put more pressure on the already scare resources avail at hand considering India has to -support 7 % of world population 2.3 % of world resource.
  • Ghost beneficiaries: Makes difficult for government to identify true beneficiaries for schemes and benefits.
  • Islamophobic sentiments: Anti-immigrant and Islamophobic sentiments rage across the world, from North America and Europe to China and India. Both those sentiments merged together in India with the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill, 2016, which sought to offer immigrants from Afghanistan, Pakistan and Bangladesh a path to citizenship, as long as they were not Muslim.


Cross border migration has adversely impacted the interests of local populations in the areas seeing large-scale influxes of illegal immigrants as well as India’s national security interests. Further, the absence of national refugee laws has blurred the distinction between refugees and economic migrants, leading to the denial of any assistance to even genuine asylum seekers. It now poses an enormous problem for India and the millions of affected people. Further delay in addressing the problem will only make matters worse.

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