The United States on Saturday said deportation of Indian orphan Kairi Abha Shepherd was consistent with its immigration priorities, indicating it would go ahead with the proceedings, despite an appeal by New Delhi that her case be treated with "sensitivity and compassion".
India had said that the humanitarian dimension of the case should be considered before removing Shepherd, who was adopted by an Utah woman from Kolkata when she was just three months old and has lived in the US ever since.
In 2004, Shepherd was convicted of attempted forgery and third-degree forgery. After she served her time, the government initiated removal proceedings against her, and the 30-year-old is facing deportation as a "criminal alien".
Reacting to the Indian request, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement said the deportation proceedings were in line with immigration enforcement priorities.
"The ICE has reviewed Ms Shepherd's case at length and believes seeking her removal is consistent with the agency's immigration enforcement priorities, which include focusing on identification and deportation of aliens with felony criminal convictions," spokesperson Virginia Kice said.
The statement came in response to Indian embassy spokesman Virander Paul's plea in this regard. Paul had said that her case "deserves to be treated with the utmost sensitivity and compassion, keeping in mind the humanitarian dimension and tenets of universally accepted human rights".
"The embassy has seen reports concerning Kairi Shepherd, and has requested the US authorities for facts on this matter," the spokesman said.
"All the information available to us on this case indicates that it has a clearly humanitarian dimension that cannot be ignored. As reports indicate, Kairi Shepherd was brought to the United States after adoption, as a baby, and has known no other home," Paul said.