Indian-American lawmakers have slammed the US-based Republican Hindu Coalition for supporting President Donald Trump‘s executive order on immigration, which they alleged takes the country backwards “towards dark times”.
“As the most senior Indian-American member of Congress, I believe that Donald Trump’s executive order does not reflect who we are as Americans,” Ami Bera, a three-time Congressman, said.
“The actions of the Republican Hindu Coalition (RHC) on Wednesday do not reflect the breadth and diversity of the Indian-American community, or our diaspora,” he said in a rare criticism of an Indian-American organization related to the Republican Party.
Bera, along with three other Indian-American lawmakers, vented out his anger against the Coalition. The Coalition has supported Trump’s executive order on immigration and refugees.
“We applaud the Trump administration for taking this decisive move to protect our citizens from Islamic terror,” its chairman Shalabh Kumar said on Tuesday.
The executive order signed on Friday, indefinitely barred Syrian refugees from entering the US, and blocked citizens of seven Muslim-majority countries – Iran, Iraq, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen – for 90 days.
Bera said it was very difficult for people of Indian origin to immigrate to the US before 1965, “and this order takes us backwards towards that dark time.”
Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal said the Coalition does not represent them. “As Indian-Americans, we believe deeply in pluralism, in freedom of religion, in freedom of speech and in a democratic diverse society.”
“To them, I would say, shame. Shame for trying to divide the Indian-American community.
As a Hindu, I can tell you that this group does not represent the much larger Indian- American community that honor our birth countries commitment to religious freedom and democracy,” Jayapal said asserting that Indian-Americans “will not be bullied” by this president.
“I call on our communities to condemn and resist these executive orders,” Jayapal said. Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi termed the executive order an assault on Constitution which “only serves to divide Americans, not unify them.
It is no longer time to agonies but to organize. It is time to do everything we can to oppose this executive order,” he said.
Congressman Ro Khanna said, “We cannot allow policies to exist that are not consistent with our founding ideals and values. I swore in on the Constitution, and will always stand up for Constitutional principles.”
Former Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asian Affairs Nisha Desai Biswal said, “This executive order does not make us safer; it imposes the most severe of burdens on the most vulnerable among us.
It goes against our responsibilities from the Geneva Conventions and poses an unjust, un-American and what we believe to be an unconstitutional ban on immigrants and refugees,” Biswal said.