Over 7,000 Indians Sought Asylum in U.S. in 2017: UN Report

The United States received 331,700 asylum claims in 2017, according to the annual Global Trends report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees.


About 7,400 Indian nationals sought asylum in the United States in 2017, according to the annual Global Trends report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, the UN Refugee Agency. Indians were among the largest groups of people from a country who filed applications for asylum in the United States last year, the report, which was released on June 19, said.

The displaced population around the world increased by 2.9 million in 2017, reaching 68.5 million individuals by the end of the year. “As a result, the world’s forcibly displaced population remained yet again at a record high,” the report said. One in every 110 people in the world is a refugee, is internally displaced or is seeking asylum, the report stated.

Asylum-seekers submitted 1.7 million new asylum claims during the year. The United States, with 331,700 asylum claims, was the world’s largest recipient of new individual applications, followed by Germany (198,300), Italy (126,500), and Turkey (126,100).

The maximum number of asylum requests to the United States in 2017 came from El Salvador (49,500), Guatemala (35,300), Honduras (28,800) and Venezuela (29,900), the report said. Other nationalities from which there were more than 5,000 claims last year were Mexico (26,100), China (17,400), Haiti (8,600), and India (7,400). Altogether the United States received claims from nationals from 168 countries.

More than two-thirds (68 percent) of all refugees worldwide came from five countries — Syria (6.3 million), Afghanistan (2.6 million), South Sudan (2.4 million), Myanmar (1.2 million), and Somalia (986,400). The new places that saw significant displacement were the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) and Myanmar, according to the report.

The highest number of asylum claims filed by individuals were from Afghanistan, with 124,900 people filing applications in 80 countries, although this number is considerably lower than those submitted in 2016 (237,800) and 2015 (271,100), the report showed. Of these, India received 4,500 claims from Afghans.

The total number of refugees in India at 2017 end was 197,146, while there were 10,519 asylum seekers with pending cases in the country. As many as 40,391 pending cases of asylum seekers from India were recorded last year, the report said.

“We are at a watershed, where success in managing forced displacement globally requires a new and far more comprehensive approach so that countries and communities aren’t left dealing with this alone,” UN High Commissioner for Refugees Filippo Grandi said in a statement.

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