58-Year-Old Indian Man Detained At Atlanta Airport By US Immigration, Dies In Custody

A 58-year-old Indian man died on Tuesday in the custody of US immigration officials at a hospital in Atlanta. Atul Kumar Babubhai Patel was detained last week for allegedly not possessing necessary immigration documents while entering the country. Mr Patel arrived at the Atlanta airport on May 10 on a flight from Ecuador.

US Immigration and Customs Enforcement took Mr Patel to custody at the Atlanta City Detention Center for two days. Officials said the preliminary cause of his death is congestive heart failure.

The Immigration department, in a statement, said the US Customs and Border Protection denied Mr Patel entry into the country as he did not possess the necessary immigration documents. He was then transferred to the custody of the Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

At the Atlanta City Detention Center, Mr Patel received an initial medical screening and was found to have high blood pressure and diabetes.

On Saturday, a nurse checking Mr Patel’s blood sugar noticed he had a breathing problem following which he was shifted to a hospital where he passed away.

The immigration department said it is firmly committed to the health and welfare of all those in its custody and is “undertaking a comprehensive agency-wide review of the incident, as it does in all such cases”.

The agency has informed the Indian consular representatives who informed Mr Patel’s family about his death.

The agency said that deaths in its custody are “exceedingly rare” and occur at a fraction of the rate of the US detained population as a whole.  (With inputs from PTI)


From the editor – Most of the news accounts highlight the death of Mr. Patel. However, there is no word on the reason for his travel from Ecuador to Atlanta.

Other media accounts of this incident

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NRI in News: AT&T’s High Speed-Network is Helping Suman Kanuganti’s Smart Glasses Change the World

Imagine having just arrived at a busy airport and having to navigate to baggage claim, all the while having your eyes closed. Now imagine having to choose your bag out of hundreds of cases of luggage. This was the scenario that Aira’s Co-founder and CEO, Suman Kanuganti, gave at a 2016 global technology conference. This task, which we are casually able to do, is made exponentially difficult for the blind and visually impaired who make up more than 22 million of the U.S. population.

To help those faced with visibility challenges every day, Suman Kanuganti and his team created Aira, a live-time navigational service company that leverages wearable devices, human assisted AI, and widespread bandwidth. Aira was developed within AT&T Foundry for Connected Health, a workshop that fosters emerging Internet of Things (IoT) companies. Here, Suman was able to work closely with AT&T for nine months before showcasing Aira at CES 2017.

Aira utilizes innovative smart glasses technology, along with a dedicated team of certified agents, to guide the users’ around their surroundings while AT&T Dynamic Traffic Management gives Aira agents prioritized connectivity. The user taps on the glasses to connect to an agent who offers assistance. Using a video camera, the agents can “see” from the wearer’s perspective in near real-time and communicate back to the wearer. This way, Aira is able to help, not just in navigation, but also for various circumstances that require visionary aid. Suman’s goal is to expand on these services and develop better software to help those with dementia or autism.

About Suman Kanuganti

Suman holds an MBA in Entrepreneurship and Finance, but more importantly, Suman was able to cultivate his vision from his roots, pulling from his Bachelor’s in Electrical and Electronics Engineering from Kakatiya University, India. His learnings as well as more than 10 years of expertise in leadership and tech has helped develop Aira into fruition, successfully enabling many to navigate independently and even allowing a visually impaired runner, Erich Manser, to finish this year’s Boston Marathon 2017. Beyond the marathon, Erich stated that Aira is helpful for every-day tasks, from picking out a special-occasion card to navigating through populated airports.

This flier sums up aspirations of the Indian middle class

Here is a recent infographic flier from a Guru.

What_Indians_Want

The guru perceptively offers solutions to a whole array of problems including

  • Husband and wife
  • Health
  • Death Fear
  • Enemy problem
  • Credit problem
  • Black magic
  • Girl & Boy love
  • Man and Woman Vashikarna
  • Sex related problem
  • Properties
  • Business
  • Education
  • Court case
  • Foreign problem
  • Secrete problem (?)
  • Site and another difficult problem

Where are most first generation (Asian) Indian Americans settled in USA?

Here is an interesting question from an online forum “Where are most first generation (Asian) Indian Americans settled in USA? Like I know that they came in California, Washington & Oregon… But what about the trends that later followed? Did anyone choose agriculture oriented states like Iowa or Idaho? I can also see that ~500k Indian Americans are in California itself.” 

Response from our editor

The US Census has begun cataloging “South Asians” and Asian Americans. Among South Asians, Indians are the prominent sub-category.

Much of the research on this sub-category and Indian Americans in particular is empirical.

Check out the link: Statistics and Demographic information on Indians, NRIs and Global Asians in the US and North America

The challenge with census data is that a review of “Indian Americans” will include first and second/third generation Indian Americans (e.g Sundar Pichai and Kal Penn). It may also include those on temporary work and student visas, who happen to be legally resident in a state at the time of survey.

Bahubali 2 Phenomenon in the US

The desi blockbuster movie Bahubali 2 has been sweeping all records for earnings the past few weeks. Not surprisingly (for desis), the movie also beat records in North America this past week.

The desi blockbuster movie Bahubali 2 has been sweeping all records for earnings the past few weeks. Not surprisingly (for desis), the movie also beat records in North America this past week.

Bahubali2

The Wall Street Journal took note, highlighting

It’s being called India’s “Star Wars,” smashing box-office records worldwide. The wild superhero epic “Baahubali 2: The Conclusion,” which opened at the end of April, has become the highest grossing Indian film in history, and its breakthrough in the U.S. may be just as significant.

With a $10.3 million opening weekend April 28, it was the No. 3 film in America, beating DreamWorks Animation’s “Boss Baby,” Tom Hanks in “The Circle” and other Hollywood fare. It did so even though it opened on only 425 screens around the country, selected for their demographics, averaging $24,364 per screen. The No. 1 film the same weekend, “The Fate of The Furious,” averaged only $4,890 per screen, on 4,077 screens.

“We were stunned. This clearly turned into an event,” said Greg Foster, CEO of IMAX. “When you have full houses on Thursday night, on something that was unbelievably viral in how the information was disseminated to the Indian diaspora, you’re tapping into something.”

WSJ writer was also surprised how the movie took off without support from mainstream movie critics  “Critics on Yahoo or Rotten Tomatoes, or somewhere. I haven’t seen anything like that,” he said. On Rotten Tomatoes recently “Baahubali 2” boasted a 92% audience score and had no rating at all from critics. Imports like this still take a back seat to Hollywood blockbusters.





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A Swades like story: Indian lad joins US army at Rs 1.2 crore pay package

In a real-life-story mimicking bollywood, a Jaipur lad Monark Sharma has been appointed as scientist in the AH-64E combat fighter helicopter unit of the US army and is currently touring his home-state, trying to inspire youngsters to follow his footsteps.

Some of us might recall the bollywood blockbuster Swades, the Shah Rukh Khan movie from years ago which portrays a desi techie, Mohan Bhargav, a NASA engineer working on a rainfall monitoring satellite, which is lifted into an orbit aboard the Space Shuttle. In a romantic twist, Mohan returns back to swades seeking the “meaning of life” and finds love.

In a real-life-story mimicking bollywood, a Jaipur lad Monark Sharma has been appointed as scientist in the AH-64E combat fighter helicopter unit of the US army and is currently touring his home-state, trying to inspire youngsters to follow his footsteps. As per an article in the Times of India,

  • Monark Sharma has been appointed as scientist in the AH-64E combat fighter helicopter unit of the US army.
  • He bagged the opportunity with an annual remuneration of Rs 1.20 crore.
  • He started his career as junior research scientist at NASA in the mass communication wing in 2013.
MonarkSharma
From Monark’s Facebook post

“I may not have got the opportunity to serve in the Indian armed force but all my moves in the US were intended to bring pride for my country. Here I am reaching out to my fellow Indian students to inspire them that anyone can attain success in life with sheer hard work,” said Sharma who studied from Bhagwan Mahaveer Jain School in C Scheme, Jaipur.

Now all we need is another love story and a happy marriage for our young hero, Monark ?


Here is a little known fact: legal Immigrants serving in the US Army and military are eligible for a fast track Citizenship (naturalization) – Link to USCIS fact sheet


Also in the news

  • City lad joins US army at Rs 1.2Cr pay package – nyoooz.com
  • Jaipur Boy in US Army : Jaipur lad joins US army at Rs 1.2 crore package – TOI
  • Meet Monark Sharma, who is joining the US Army with Rs 1.20 crore pay package – Business Insider
  • Jaipur youth joins US army, to get Rs 1.2 crore annual pay – Indian Express
  • This genius from Jaipur will develop fighter choppers for US Army, get Rs 1.2 crore as pay – Zee News
  • Jaipur’s Monark joins US Army as Scientist – City of Jaipur

Court orders nationwide staffing company CEO to pay $135K in back wages, damages to former live-in domestic worker

US Labor Department investigation found severe underpayment, callous mistreatment?

SAN DIEGO ? The CEO of a leading U.S. staffing company will pay a former live-in domestic service worker $135,000 in back wages and damages under the terms of a consent judgment entered into the U.S. District Court for the Central District of California.

The judgment, entered on April 11, 2017, resolves a complaint filed by the U.S. Department of Labor on Aug. 22, 2016. An investigation by thedepartment?s Wage and Hour Division found that Himanshu Bhatia willfully and repeatedly violated the Fair Labor Standards Act?sminimum wage and record keeping provisions from July 2012 to December 2014, as well as the act?s anti-retaliation provision.

The complaint alleged that Bhatia paid her domestic service worker a fixed monthly salary of $400 plus food and housing at Bhatia?s home in San Juan Capistrano and other residences in Miami, Las Vegas and Long Beach. Investigators found that the employee suffered callous abuse and retaliation, including being forced to sleep on a piece of carpet in the garage when ill, while Bhatia?s dogs slept on a mattress nearby. The complaint also alleged that Bhatia confiscated her employee?s passport.

Himanshu Bhatia

Bhatia terminated the worker in December 2014 after she found her employee researching ?labor laws? online, and after the worker refused to sign a document stating she was being paid an adequate salary and had no employment dispute with Bhatia.

?This consent judgment underlines the department?s commitment to protecting workers from exploitation,? said Janet Herold, solicitor for the department?s Western Region. ?The department will take strong and immediate action to ensure that workers are protected against retaliation.?

The consent judgment orders the defendant to pay $135,000 in damages, including back wages, liquidated damages and other damages.

For more information about federal wage laws administered by the division, call the agency?s toll-free helpline at 866-4US-WAGE (487-9243). Information also is available at http://www.dol.gov/whd.

# # #

Release Number: 17-441-SAN


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