SAALT Calls on President-Elect Trump to Abandon Trickle Down Intolerance, Advance Justice

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Novem­ber 9, 2016
Con­tact: Vivek Trive­di, vivek@saalt.org

South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) joins our com­mu­ni­ty and much of the nation in grap­pling with the results of one of the most divi­sive, anti-immi­grant, and xeno­pho­bic elec­tion cam­paigns in mod­ern Amer­i­can his­to­ry.  We call on Pres­i­dent-Elect Trump to imme­di­ate­ly renounce the hate-filled rhetoric used through­out his cam­paign and com­mit to safe­guard­ing the rights and free­doms of all Amer­i­cans, includ­ing the 4.3 mil­lion South Asians liv­ing in the U.S.

“The Pres­i­dent-Elect must acknowl­edge the steady nar­ra­tive of hate and fear used dur­ing his cam­paign has served as a ral­ly­ing cry for vio­lence and oppres­sion against our com­mu­ni­ties,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT.  “At this ear­ly and urgent hour, the Pres­i­dent-Elect must imme­di­ate­ly reverse course and part­ner with South Asian orga­ni­za­tions nation­wide to pro­tect our com­mu­ni­ty’s civ­il lib­er­ties, to achieve immi­gra­tion reform, and to under­stand that the only way to Make Amer­i­ca Great is by ensur­ing the fun­da­men­tal free­doms of every­one under the law.”

We’ve heard from many in our com­mu­ni­ty, par­tic­u­lar­ly Mus­lim and Sikh Amer­i­cans, who have expressed con­cerns for their safe­ty in the wake of the elec­tions. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, these fears are not mis­placed.  SAALT has tracked a dis­turb­ing uptick in hate vio­lence and xeno­pho­bic rhetoric against our com­mu­ni­ties in the last year, with 200 instances occur­ring across the coun­try since Novem­ber 2015.  Of the over 80 inci­dents of xeno­pho­bic rhetoric we’ve tracked, over 25% have been state­ments by the Pres­i­dent-Elect, includ­ing call­ing for a “com­plete and total shut­down of Mus­lims enter­ing the Unit­ed States”.  Our nation as a whole and our com­mu­ni­ties deserve bet­ter.  We call on the Pres­i­dent-Elect to part­ner with SAALT and the Nation­al Coali­tion of South Asian Orga­ni­za­tions to pre­vent, detect, and respond to bias-moti­vat­ed inci­dents of vio­lence, and to denounce any hate direct­ed at our com­mu­ni­ties.

The new admin­is­tra­tion must also aban­don the anti-immi­grant and anti-Mus­lim rhetoric that were hall­marks of the cam­paign.  State­ments about “build­ing a wall”, using a “depor­ta­tion force”, and “extreme vet­ting” must be cat­e­gor­i­cal­ly renounced.  The Pres­i­dent-Elect must instead pri­or­i­tize engag­ing mem­bers of Con­gress to cre­ate a roadmap to cit­i­zen­ship, pre­serve fam­i­ly-based immi­gra­tion sys­tems, and put an end to the dra­con­ian immi­gra­tion enforce­ment poli­cies cur­rent­ly in place.  With 450,000 undoc­u­ment­ed Indi­an Amer­i­cans alone, South Asians have a tremen­dous stake in fix­ing our bro­ken immi­gra­tion sys­tem, and we call on the new admin­is­tra­tion to pass immi­gra­tion leg­is­la­tion that will defend our rights and expand oppor­tu­ni­ty for immi­grant fam­i­lies.

If the Pres­i­dent-Elect gov­erns in the man­ner in which he cam­paigned, he must be held account­able to the law and to the peo­ple of our coun­try.  Mak­ing Amer­i­ca Great is only pos­si­ble by mak­ing Amer­i­ca bet­ter, day by day, togeth­er.  SAALT stands ready in this impor­tant endeav­or and remains unde­terred in our demand for South Asian equal­i­ty.

SAALT relies on your finan­cial sup­port to advo­cate on behalf of the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty nation­wide.  Please con­sid­er mak­ing a dona­tion today.  An invest­ment in SAALT is an invest­ment in South Asian rights.  We are a 501c (3) non-prof­it orga­ni­za­tion.