Indian Canadian Loses Permanent Residentship Over Cross-Border Human Smuggling

Karamdeep Singh Bagri was arrested in 2015 for having picked up five Indian nationals who had crossed illegally into the U.S. from Canada.


An Indian Canadian was declared inadmissible to Canada on grounds of organized criminality after he was found to have engaged in people smuggling in 2015. The Canadian federal court order was released last month.

Karamdeep Singh Bagri, an Indian national who gained permanent residentship in Canada in 2008, was arrested on Jan. 12, 2015, in Washington State by the U.S. Department of Homeland Security for having picked up five Indian nationals who had just crossed illegally into the United States from Canada.

The case was being heard in the federal court after Bagri applied for a judicial review of an earlier Immigration and Refugee Board decision rendering him inadmissible for being part of a “criminal organization.”

Bagri, 31, was arrested south of the border by Abbotsford, British Columbia, with two men, two women and a child in his rental vehicle. He said that it was the first time he picked up illegal aliens. He also said that he entered the United States to pick up two of those individuals and was supposed to be paid $1,000 for his services, and that he had made several previous attempts to transport undocumented immigrants, but had been unsuccessful.

The plan for this was hatched in a parking lot of a gurdwara in October 2014, when he met someone called “Babba.” He was on the phone with this Babba when he was caught.

According to the court order, he was interviewed thrice by representatives of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), during which he made contradicting statements. Member McPhalen of the Immigration Division of the Immigration and Refugee Board rejected testimony provided by Bagri which contradicted certain statements that he had made in his prior interviews with the CBSA.

McPhalen said it was obvious Bagri knew that he was “involved in something illegal.” He was found to have aided and abetted the illegal entry of the five people into the United States, because his “part of the scheme was to pick them up on the U.S. side of the border.” Bagri himself carried a visa with which he could make multiple trips to the United States.

According to U.S. Justice Department statistics, 731 Indian nationals sought asylum south of the border in 2010, which increased to 2,277 by 2015.

According to Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, SC 2001, c 27 a permanent resident or a foreign national is inadmissible on grounds of organized criminality and engaging in transnational crime such as people smuggling, trafficking in persons or laundering of money or other proceeds of crime.

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