Dhanajay Paranjpe, an illegal alien who begs his living in Washington's streets, also has been begging the U.S. Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS for months to deport him back to India. Yesterday he finally got his wish.
At a morning hearing, an immigration judge ordered him shipped home at U.S. government expense. On Friday afternoon his is scheduled to fly from Dulles to Kennedy Airport and from there to India -- at a cost of $933, according to INS officials.
Paranjpe -- a 32-year-old PhD, poet and painter who also is known as Mumbiram -- thanked the judge for giving him "a free passage to India for (my) soul and more."
One immigration official sighed resignedly, "That's where the taxpayers' money goes. But what are you gonna do?"
Paranjpe began waging his campaign for deportation several months ago after he found out he could not obtain legal residence in the United States as an artist -- especially as one who refused to take money for his work and insisted on begging for a living. As Paranjpe sees it, a Brahmin like himself does not "engage in servitude for wages."
Every few weeks throughout the summer Paranjpe would go to Ins district headquarters and complain that thousands of people who want desperately to stay in the United States are arrested and deported each year. Having lived here for 12 years and having been an illegal alien since his visa expired in 1974, he reasoned, the INS ought to deport him, too.
But it was not until he had told his story to a newspaper that the INS found ways to winnow through its red tape to honor such an extraordinary request. By then Paranjpe had again disappeared into the streets of Washington.