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Indian Deportees from US Say Learning Spanish Their Only Achievement in Refugee Camps

Manpreet Singh (25) said there was an atmosphere where the Punjabi speaking people were talking in Spanish and the Spanish-speaking people were communicating in Punjabi.


Updated:November 20, 2019, 9:45 PM IST
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New Delhi: Some of the Indians who returned home on Wednesday after being deported from the US said the only notable thing from their shattered American dream was picking up bits and pieces of Spanish during their stay at refugee camps.

Around 150 Indians deported from the US, for either violating their visa norms or illegally entering America, landed at the Delhi airport on Wednesday morning.

The refugee camps in the US were full of foreign nationals and many officials spoke Spanish, they said. Four-time-deportee Jabarjung Singh, from Punjab's Bhatinda, said they had nothing to do in the camps and used to sleep for most part of the day.

"There were many Spanish-speaking people and we started learning the language and taught them Punjabi. We used to greet them with 'cmo ests' (how are you) and they started telling us 'tusi kiven ho' (how are you)," said the 24-year-old mechanical engineer who wanted to find a job and settle in the US.

Manpreet Singh (25) a resident of Sultanpur in Punjab, said there was an atmosphere where the Punjabi speaking people were talking in Spanish and the Spanish-speaking people were communicating in Punjabi.

"Everyone has spent lakhs, but they ran out of luck when they tried to enter California. They returned home with an additional language. Many of the refugees feel they would have learnt the language in the country at a very low price," he said.

Gurpreet Singh (26), from Gurdaspur in Punjab, "Our schedule was to eat, play games, including basketball, volleyball, learning spanish and teaching them Punjabi. We have made many foreign nationals friends."

The special aircraft carrying the deportees landed at the T3 terminal of the Delhi airport at 6am on Wednesday, an airport official said. The aircraft reached India via Bangladesh.

This was the second batch of Indians being deported in large numbers this year. On October 18, more than 300 Indians, including one woman, were deported by Mexico for illegally entering the country with an aim to sneak into the US.

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