India steps in for Kairi Shepherd

25 May 2012, 2107 hrs IST, AGENCIES

India today asked the United States to treat with “utmost compassion” the issue of deportation of Indian-American orphan Kairi Abha Shepherd who faces the prospect of being sent back to her country of birth where she was adopted by an American woman 30 years ago.

“It’s a tragic humanitarian issue and should be treated by the US with utmost compassion”, Foreign Secretary Ranjan Mathai told reporters .

He said the Indian Consulate in San Francisco had written to concerned US authorities on the issue but was yet to get any response from them.

Shepherd, who has said that deportation would be like “death sentence” to her, under US laws can’t be sent back toIndia unless Indian government provides necessary travel documents for her.

“Before carrying out a deportation, ICE (US Immigration and Customs
Enforcement) must first obtain a travel documentto ensure the receiving country will admit the alien who is being returned,” ICE spokesperson Lori K Haley told PTI without commenting on the deportation case of Shepherd.