Another family from Gujarat dead after trying to cross US-Canada border illegally

A total of eight bodies were recovered last week in TsiSnaihne in Akwesasne, a Mohawk territory right between the US-Canada border. According to local police four from India and four of Romanian descent – died trying to cross illegally into the United States from Canada through Akwesasne Mohawk Territory, which straddles provincial and international boundaries and includes regions of Quebec, Ontario and New York state.
Mohawk Council of Akwesasne shared the tragic news that eight individuals including a toddler and infant passed away in the waters of Akwesasne.
The eight individuals were from two families of Romanian and Indian descent, with the two children having Canadian citizenship. The tragic circumstances of their deaths remain under investigation by the police department. However, it is known that these families were attempting to enter the United States illegally from Canada, according to Akwesasne Mohawk Police.
The police later identified the bodies. One of the adult males, identified as 28-year-old, Florin Iordache, had two Canadian passports in his possession, one for the two-year-old child that was recovered and one for a one-year-old infant that was also recovered. One of the adult females has been identified as 28-year-old Cristina (Monalisa) Zenaida Iordache.
Later Achal Tyagi, superintendent of police for the city of Mehsana, in the western state of Gujarat, told The Canadian Press that the four deceased Indians were members of the Chaudhari family. They included the father, Praveenbhai Chaudhari, 50; mother, Dakshaben, 45; son, Meet, 20; and 23-year-old daughter, Vidhi.
Praveenbhai was a farmer, Tyagi said, adding that the family was from the Mehsana district, which has a population of about 1.8 million people. Indian police have opened an investigation and met with Chaudhari family members Monday, he said.
“They were in Canada for the last two months, and they had gone from here on a Canada (tourist) visa,” he said in an interview from Gujarat.
“But what transpired in Canada and why they were travelling to the U.S. is not exactly known.”
The two families died less than a week after Canada and the United States amended an immigration deal that prevents people in either country from crossing the border and making a refugee claim. The amendment changed the deal so that it covers unofficial points of entry along the 9,000-kilometre border between the countries.
On Monday, speaking to reporters in Quebec Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau said “the tragedy is immeasurable”.

But he cautioned about “jumping to conclusions” about this case and said Canada needed an immigration system that was “rigorous” and also welcoming to newcomers and the most vulnerable.

“When people take risks to cross our borders in an irregular fashion – or if they pay criminals to get them across the border – this isn’t a system we can have confidence in,” he said.

The Chaudharis are the second family from Gujarat who authorities believe have died trying to cross illegally into the U.S. from Canada in the past 18 months.
In January 2022, four members of the Patel family froze to death; their bodies were found metres away from the border, near Emerson, Manitoba.

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