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Report No. 175

3.4 Causes of migration:-

There is a variety of causes for such migration including economic and religious. The push factors on the other side of the border include steep and continuous increase in population, sharp deterioration in land-man ratio and low rates of economic growth, particularly in the agriculture sector. The pull factors on this side include ethnic, linguistic and religious proximity and kinship facilitating easy shelter to the migrants, porous and easily negotiable long border and better economic opportunities. The availability of cheap labour from across the border is another 6 factor which has been encouraging illegal migration.

3.5 one of the major causes of the aggravation of the problem of illegal migration, especially in the border states, has been the crisis of identity and absence of proper mechanism for the identification of illegal migrants. The available legal framework has failed to curb the illegal migration.

3.5.1 This apart, the illegal migrants continue to stay in India with impunity on account of rampant corruption in rank and file of the enforcement agencies, one of their prominent destinations is Mumbai.

3.6 Another cause of illegal migration is the clandestine cross-border trade between India and Bangladesh which is estimated at $5 billion. This is three times more than the official trade. The trade has created a network of agents and middlemen working in connivance with the authorities on both sides of the border. Thus strong vested interests also appear to be behind illegal migration. Further, the trade between 8 two countries has the backdrop of cultural and ethnic ties.

3.7 In most of the cases, the entry of migrants is surreptitious and they easily mingle with local population due to ethnic, linguistic, religious and physical similarities. Their identification is extremely difficult. This has resulted in alteration of demographic composition in the border districts of several states. The bordering States have recorded a high rate of population growth. It has been reported that in the case of Assam, there is a higher percentage of rate of population growth in comparison to the national average.

3. 8 There is evidence that many of the illegal migrants have acquired ration cards, obtained various Jobs and got enlisted in electoral rolls by suppressing their identities with the help of local touts, unscrupulous officials and politicians.

3.9 impact of illegal migration:- The illegal migration has strained country's economy generally and especially of the border states.

3.10 The illegal influx has assumed dangerous dimensions affecting the security of the nation as a whole and especially of the North-Eastern region because of its proximity with Bangladesh. There are reports of large scale clandestine movement and smuggling of all kinds of articles by such migrants.

3.11 Local inhabitants of these, bordering area are under constant fear of losing their identity as they have been reduced to a minority in their own state. This has given rise to various movements and violent agitations especially in the North-Eastern areas. The problem has economic implications for the local people and security implications for the country as a whole.

The Foreigners (Amendment) Bill, 2000 Back

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