New Delhi: An accurate data of the number of illegal immigrants in the country, including Delhi, is not maintained centrally as they enter India without valid travel documents in a clandestine and surreptitious manner, the Union Home Ministry told Lok Sabha on Tuesday.
"Ministry of Home Affairs has issued consolidated instructions regarding deportation/repatriation of foreign nationals to all states and Union Territories vide letters dated April 24, 2014, and July 01, 2019," Minister of State for Home Affairs Nityanand Rai said in response to a written question.
He said the ministry has also issued advisories to the state governments/UT administrations regarding identification of illegal immigrants and monitoring through letters dated August 08, 2017 and February 28, 2018.
"Detection, detention and deportation after due process of nationality verification of illegal immigrants is an ongoing process under the Foreigners Act, 1946 and Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920. Central Government has been vested with powers under Section 3(2)(e) and 3(2)(c) of the Foreigners Act, 1946 to detain and deport foreign nationals staying illegally in the country," he said.
The minister said Section 5 of The Passport (Entry into India) Act, 1920 empowers the central government to order the removal of any foreigner from India who enters India without passport.
"These powers of the Central Government have also been entrusted under Article 258(1) of the Constitution of India to all the State Governments since 1958. Further, under Article 239(1) of the Constitution of India, the Administrators of all the Union Territories including Delhi have also been directed to discharge the functions of the Central Government relating to the aforesaid powers," he said.
"Illegal immigrants enter into the country without valid travel documents in clandestine and surreptitious manner. As such accurate data regarding number of such migrants living in the country, including Delhi, is not centrally maintained," the minister said.