India highlights ‘human dimension’ of adopted woman facing deportation

May 26th, 2012 - 11:25 am ICT by IANS  

Washington, May 26 (IANS) Highlighting the “human dimension” of an adopted Indian American woman who faces deportation 30 years after she came here, India has asked the US to ensure her case is treated with the utmost sensitivity and compassion.

According to media reports, Kairi Abha Shepherd was adopted in 1982 by a Utah woman as a three-month-old child. But when she was 8, her adoptive mother died of cancer. When she was 17, she was arrested and convicted of felony cheque forgery to fuel a drug habit.

As her adoptive mother did not complete the formalities for her citizenship, she is facing likely deportation after a court earlier this month upheld the US government’s right to remove her from the country.

“The Embassy has seen reports concerning Kairi Shepherd, and has requested the US authorities for facts on this matter,” Indian Embassy spokesman Virander Paul said in a statement Friday.

“All the information available to us on this case indicates that it has a clearly humanitarian dimension, that cannot be ignored,” he said.

“As reports indicate, Kairi Shepherd was brought to the United States after adoption, as a baby, and has known no other home.

“Her case deserves to be treated with the utmost sensitivity and compassion, keeping in mind the humanitarian dimension and tenets of universally accepted human rights,” the Indian Embassy said.

Meanwhile, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) has confirmed “Shepherd has a final order of removal” though she was “not in ICE custody at this time.”

Outlining the deportation procedure, ICE said: “Before carrying out a deportation, ICE must first obtain a travel document to ensure the receiving country will admit the alien who is being returned.”

“Once ICE obtains a travel document, the agency then proceeds to make transportation arrangements. Completing the removal process can take varying amounts of time, depending on the country involved and the circumstances of the case.”

“Shepherd’s criminal history includes two prior convictions in Utah in 2004 for attempted forgery and forgery, the latter of which constitutes an aggravated felony,” ICE noted.

“ICE has reviewed Ms. Shepherd’s case at length and believes seeking her removal is consistent with the agency’s immigration enforcement priorities, which include focusing on the identification and deportation of aliens with felony criminal convictions,” it said.

(Arun Kumar can be contacted at arun.kumar@ians.in)

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