A bipartisan group of lawmakers led by Indian-American Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi has urged the Trump Administration to steps to stop rising hate crimes against religious minorities and Indian-Americans in the US. The letter urges the Homeland Security Secretary John Kelly to act on the knowledge and use the resources of his department to combat both hate crimes and their root causes. “From attacks on Indian-Americans to grave desecration at Jewish cemeteries, the recent rise in hate-motivated attacks is troubling to all Americans,” a bipartisan group of 68 Congressmen said in the letter.
The letter was initiated by Rajakrishnamoorthi. Among signatories to the letter are Indian-American lawmaker Ro Khanna, Pramila Jayapal and Ami Bera. “These attacks seek to undermine not just public safety, but the very nature of American exceptionalism. For more than two hundred years, the United States has stood as a beacon of freedom from tyranny, oppression, and persecution,” the letter said. “A fundamental promise of our nation is that any American – regardless of where you come from, the colour of your skin, or how you pray – can trust the federal government to preserve, protect, and defend their rights,” it said. “We respectfully urge you to use the full powers of your office to stop further racially-motivated attacks and combat the roots of hatred and intolerance. We stand ready to work with you and all Americans to turn back this tide of hatred and protect the rights of every citizen,” the lawmakers wrote.
The lawmakers thanked Kelly for his recent visit to the Congressional Asia Pacific American Caucus meeting. “At a time when so many Hindus, Muslims, Sikhs, Jews, and other religious minorities fear for their safety, we were heartened by your commitment to protecting all Americans, but we urge you to now take action to follow through on this commitment,” they wrote.
At the meeting Kelly said: “One of the first things I noticed from the last administration is that there was not enough focus, in my view, on white supremacy organisations or hate organisations.” “This intolerance is truly disgusting. Now is the time to take decisive action to combat hate groups and reassure Americans that their government will protect their most basic rights,” the lawmakers insisted.
Two Indian-Americans were shot in Kansas with the attacker yelling at his victims “get out of my country,” the letter said. In Florida, an Indian-American family’s store was almost burnt to the ground. Many more have been harassed and threatened. In the midst of the shooting in Kansas, a bystander rushed in, seeking to help his fellow Americans,” the lawmakers wrote.