Mentally Ill Man with Open Case, Deported back to India 2 days After Obama Inaugurated, is Now Missing

This case came to our atten­tion through Dim­ple Rana at Deport­ed Dias­po­ra. In a trag­ic turn of event, Har­vey Sachdev, who has lived in the Unit­ed States for more than 40 years, was deport­ed to India even though his case is still open on appeal. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, Sachdev suf­fers from schiz­o­phre­nia and has been miss­ing since his arrival in New Del­hi. Read the press release about Sachde­v’s case below.

Want to do some­thing to to demand human rights for immi­grants who are in deten­tion and who reg­u­lar­ly face due process vio­la­tions? Take a minute to sign this peti­tion to Pres­i­dent Oba­ma encour­ag­ing him to con­sid­er these vio­la­tions as he staffs and restruc­tures the Depart­ment of Home­land Secu­ri­ty (the Exec­u­tive agency that over­sees many key oper­a­tions includ­ing Immi­gra­tion and Cus­toms Enforce­ment) here <>

Men­tal­ly Ill Man with Open Case, Deport­ed 2 days After Oba­ma Inau­gu­rat­ed, is Now Miss­ing

Wednes­day, Jan­u­ary 28, 2009

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:
Neena Sachdev,
Greg Pleas­ants, JD/MSW, (213) 389‑2077, ext. 19,
Dim­ple Rana, (781) 521‑4544,

Wash­ing­ton DC Area Fam­i­ly of Men­tal­ly Ill Man Fears for His Life as He is Miss­ing in India Fol­low­ing Depor­ta­tion
ICE exe­cutes depor­ta­tion of schiz­o­phrenic man on Jan­u­ary 22nd, despite his case still being under review, that he is the son, broth­er and father of U.S. cit­i­zens and that his depor­ta­tion could result in his death.

Wash­ing­ton D.C.  —  Jan­u­ary 28, 2009 — The Sachdev fam­i­ly is liv­ing a night­mare as Immi­gra­tion and Cus­toms Enforce­ment (ICE) deport­ed their fam­i­ly mem­ber, Har­vey Sachdev, to India on Jan­u­ary 22nd. Har­vey was a res­i­dent of the Unit­ed States for near­ly 40 years, and is diag­nosed with schiz­o­phre­nia. Har­vey is a son, a broth­er and a father of U.S. cit­i­zens. His case is still open on appeal before the Fourth Cir­cuit court. Nev­er­the­less ICE deport­ed him to India on Jan­u­ary 22nd, 2009.

The trau­ma of Har­vey’s pro­longed deten­tion and recent depor­ta­tion made him high­ly unsta­ble. He is now miss­ing in New Del­hi, India, a city of 11 mil­lion peo­ple. It is an unfa­mil­iar city to him, where he has no fam­i­ly and no access to med­ica­tion. Accord­ing to his broth­er and sis­ters, “Our broth­er’s depor­ta­tion is like­ly a death sen­tence for him, and we also fear our moth­er’s life. The stress and the wor­ry has put her life in per­il.”

Hav­ing pushed his depor­ta­tion date back sev­er­al times, ICE ini­tial­ly noti­fied the fam­i­ly of the sched­uled depor­ta­tion, but failed to con­firm it, so nec­es­sary arrange­ments could be made in India. After repeat­ed calls on the day of his depor­ta­tion, ICE only told the fam­i­ly he was no longer in deten­tion. The fam­i­ly also repeat­ed­ly attempt­ed to get con­fir­ma­tion from the India Con­sulate Offices and Embassy, which had to issue trav­el doc­u­ments, but received no infor­ma­tion.

Har­vey came to the U.S. with his par­ents at the age of twelve. He was vale­dic­to­ri­an of his high school and earned a schol­ar­ship to col­lege. Trag­i­cal­ly, in his late teens he devel­oped schiz­o­phre­nia and has bat­tled men­tal ill­ness for all of his adult life.

Due to his men­tal ill­ness, he was con­vict­ed of inap­pro­pri­ate and aber­rant but non-vio­lent crimes. The most seri­ous was inde­cent expo­sure, but he was not guilty of any phys­i­cal con­tact with any per­son, nor of any vio­lence. There is no indi­ca­tion that any court thought that the pun­ish­ment for his crimes should result in depor­ta­tion to a coun­try that he can’t remem­ber, where he has no friends or fam­i­ly or any con­nec­tion what­so­ev­er.

His par­ents and his fam­i­ly are U.S. cit­i­zens. Two of his fam­i­ly mem­bers are serv­ing in the mil­i­tary, with one com­plet­ing two tours of duty in Iraq. He mar­ried a U.S. cit­i­zen and has a U.S. cit­i­zen daugh­ter who is now twen­ty-two years old.

Mr. Sachdev is men­tal­ly ill and requires care, which his fam­i­ly is able and will­ing to pro­vide. He has no one in India and does not have the abil­i­ty to sur­vive on his own.

Greg Pleas­ants, JD/MSW, an Equal Jus­tice Works Fel­low and Staff Attor­ney at Men­tal Health Advo­ca­cy Ser­vices, Inc. states that “Peo­ple with men­tal and devel­op­men­tal dis­abil­i­ties who are deport­ed can also face a grave risk of harass­ment and even per­se­cu­tion in their home coun­tries — harass­ment and per­se­cu­tion based sole­ly on their dis­abil­i­ties.”

“With­out fam­i­ly or med­ical sup­port, depor­ta­tion can become a death sen­tence. Sui­cide and attempt­ed sui­cide are not uncom­mon among deport­ed peo­ple with men­tal ill­ness­es. Access to med­i­cine can be lim­it­ed and peo­ple are often deport­ed with­out any infor­ma­tion on their med­ical back­ground.  Depor­ta­tion of the men­tal­ly ill is cru­el and unusu­al pun­ish­ment,” says Dim­ple Rana of Deport­ed Dias­po­ra, an orga­ni­za­tion work­ing with peo­ple deport­ed from the U.S.

For more infor­ma­tion, con­tact:
Neena Sachdev — Har­vey Sachde­v’s sis­ter,
Greg Pleas­ants, JD/MSW — Equal Jus­tice Works Fel­low and Staff Attor­ney at Men­tal Health Advo­ca­cy Ser­vices, Inc. (213) 389‑2077 ext. 19,
Dim­ple Rana, Co-Founder and Direc­tor, Deport­ed Dias­po­ra, (781) 521‑4544,

SAALT E.D. Deepa Iyer on “Uprisings” Radio Show about South Asia

Lis­ten to this episode of Paci­fi­ca Radio show “Upris­ings” cen­tered around South Asia fea­tur­ing SAALT Exec­u­tive Direc­tor, Deepa Iyer, along with fel­low guests, Tayyab Mah­mud and Vijay Prashad. They dis­cuss top­ics from the mod­el minor­i­ty myth to post‑9/11 bias and dis­crim­i­na­tion to the polit­i­cal iden­ti­ties of South Asians in Amer­i­ca.

Lis­ten to the whole episode at:

SAALT Special Reception Takes DC by Storm

Staff and Board at SAALT Special Reception

The SAALT Inau­gu­ra­tion Spe­cial Recep­tion was a great suc­cess this Inau­gu­ra­tion Week­end in Wash­ing­ton, DC. More than 200 peo­ple gath­ered at K&L Gates, a stones throw from the White House, to min­gle and con­nect with one anoth­er, as well as bid on silent auc­tion items and enjoy food and drink. Check out pic­tures from the event at the SAALT Flickr here.

See the whole album at:

Staff and Board at SAALT Spe­cial Recep­tion

SAALT E.D., Deepa Iyer, profiled in Takoma Voice

Check out this pro­file of SAALT’s own Exec­u­tive Direc­tor (and proud Tako­ma Park res­i­dent) Deepa Iyer pub­lished in the Tako­ma Voice. The arti­cle was writ­ten by Paree­sha Narag, a stu­dent at the Uni­ver­si­ty of Mary­land and a past stu­dent of Deep­a’s.

Check out the full arti­cle here:

SAALT briefing on South Asians in New Jersey covered in the New Jersey Star-Ledger

Check out a great arti­cle from the New Jer­sey Star Ledger about the Octo­ber 1st brief­ing on the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty in New Jer­sey. The brief­ing includ­ed Assem­bly­man Upen­dra Chivuku­la and Com­mis­sion­er of the New Jer­sey Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion, Kris Kol­luri. The pan­el fea­tured speak­ers from the Sikh Coali­tion, Man­avi and CAIR-NJ and was mod­er­at­ed by SAALT Pol­i­cy Direc­tor, Priya Murthy. You can read the arti­cles here <>

To read SAALT resources about the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty in New Jer­sey, click here <>

Watch a clip of Assem­bly­man Chivuku­la (the first South Asian to be elect­ed to the New Jer­sey state Assem­bly) speak­ing about the New Jer­sey South Asian com­mu­ni­ty. To his left is Kris Kol­luri, the Com­mis­sion­er of the New Jer­sey Depart­ment of Trans­porta­tion and to his right is Mark Mur­phy from the Fund for New Jer­sey. Mod­er­at­ing the dis­cus­sion is Deepa Iyer, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT.

SAALT Oct. brief­ing in Tren­ton, NJ

Welcome to SAALT Spot!

My name is Mou Khan, and I’m the Pro­gram Assis­tant at SAALT.  Today is an excit­ing day for us here at SAALT.  Not only are we unveil­ing three great new doc­u­ments as part of our efforts around the upcom­ing elec­tions (Elec­tions ’08: A Roadmap; Elec­tions ’08: How Do I Get Involved? and Pol­i­cy Brief: Civ­il Rights and Immi­grant Rights), but we are also rolling out our new web­site (book­mark!) In addi­tion to all of that, we are thrilled to wel­come you to our new blog and we want­ed to take this oppor­tu­ni­ty to go into some of the new aspects of our web­site.

  • This blog: We will be updat­ing it reg­u­lar­ly to keep you updat­ed on what’s hap­pen­ing in the world of civ­il and immi­grant rights, social jus­tice issues, and, of course, the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty. Click here to get the RSS feed so you will know when­ev­er there is a new post. Also, we want to hear from you! Please post com­ments and, if you like what we post, link to it on your own blog. Bet­ter yet, guest-blog for us! If you’re inter­est­ed in guest blog­ging, email
  • Doc­u­ments:
Elec­tions ’08: How Do I Get Involved? lists 10 ways every­one (cit­i­zens and nonci­t­i­zens) can get engaged dur­ing this elec­tion cycle and make a dif­fer­ence!

Elec­tions ’08: A Roadmap is a sim­ple, easy-to-fol­low guide to the elec­tions process and it can help you answer age-old ques­tions like “what is a cau­cus?” or “what do superdel­e­gates do?”

Pol­i­cy Brief: Civ­il Rights and Immi­grant Rights focus­es on two pol­i­cy issues being dis­cussed this elec­tion year
  • New SAALT web­site: Our new web­site does not just have a new look (though we hope you are enjoy­ing it!), but it has all the great infor­ma­tion and resources you are used to get­ting from SAALT, just in a new, eas­i­er-to-access for­mat. Take a look around, and keep an eye out for new fea­tures, like our new Elec­tions ’08 page. And check back in often, we are going to be post­ing up new resources and events reg­u­lar­ly.

Thanks for vis­it­ing and please come back often to see what’s new at the SAALT Spot!