SAALT hosts Congressional Briefing — 17 years after 9/11 “Detentions, Deportations, Diminished Civil Rights”

Sep­tem­ber 14, 2018
On September 13, South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er (SAALT) host­ed a Capi­tol Hill Brief­ing in col­lab­o­ra­tion with the Con­gres­sion­al Asian Pacif­ic Amer­i­can Cau­cus (CAPAC). Mem­bers of Con­gress and an expert pan­el of com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers pro­vid­ed remarks mark­ing the 17th anniver­sary of the trag­ic events of 9/11. This year’s anniver­sary fell at a time of ram­pant anti-immi­grant and xeno­pho­bic poli­cies aimed at South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Mid­dle East­ern, and Arab Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties. Mem­bers of Con­gress and com­mu­ni­ty lead­ers dis­cussed the inter­sec­tion of hate vio­lence, the Mus­lim Ban, and immi­gra­tion enforce­ment. They also point­ed to leg­isla­tive and pol­i­cy pro­pos­als to safe­guard civ­il rights and pro­tect immi­grant com­mu­ni­ties.
As lead spon­sor of H.R. 1566 NO HATE Act, Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Don Bey­er (VA-08) pro­vid­ed open­ing remarks empha­siz­ing the rela­tion­ship between hate vio­lence and dis­crim­i­na­to­ry and anti-immi­grant poli­cies advanced by the cur­rent admin­is­tra­tion. Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Bey­er remind­ed the audi­ence that hate vio­lence exists in every cor­ner of our nation as he recount­ed recent inci­dents from his north­ern Vir­ginia Con­gres­sion­al Dis­trict.
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Grace Meng (NY-06) pro­vid­ed clos­ing remarks com­mem­o­rat­ing the impact of 9/11 and the ensu­ing back­lash against South Asian, Mus­lim, Sikh, Hin­du, Mid­dle East­ern, and Arab Amer­i­can com­mu­ni­ties in New York City. She high­light­ed the sto­ry of Salman Ham­dani, a young Mus­lim-Amer­i­can first respon­der on 9/11, whose name was left off the Nation­al Sep­tem­ber 11 Memo­r­i­al in Man­hat­tan.
“SAALT is com­mit­ted to address­ing the under­ly­ing fac­tors that spur hate vio­lence against our com­mu­ni­ties, includ­ing dis­crim­i­na­to­ry poli­cies and the growth in orga­nized white suprema­cy. We are ded­i­cat­ed to work­ing with Con­gres­sion­al lead­ers and our com­mu­ni­ty part­ners to ensure the next decade sees a decline in hate vio­lence,” stat­ed Suman Raghu­nathan, Exec­u­tive Direc­tor of SAALT.

Hon­orary Co-hosts:
The Hon­or­able Sen­a­tor Jef­frey A. Merkley (OR)
Con­gres­sion­al Co-spon­sors:
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Don Bey­er (VA-08) – open­ing remarks
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Prami­la Jaya­pal (WA-07)
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Ro Khan­na (CA-17)
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Grace Meng (NY-06) – clos­ing remarks
Rep­re­sen­ta­tive Jan Schakowsky (IL-09)
Azza Alti­raifi, Jus­tice for Mus­lims Col­lec­tive
Paromi­ta Shah, Nation­al Immi­gra­tion Project of the Nation­al Lawyers Guild
Lak­sh­mi Sri­daran, South Asian Amer­i­cans Lead­ing Togeth­er


Representative Don Beyer (VA-08): “I want to rec­og­nize SAALT’s cru­cial advo­ca­cy work – they have been instru­men­tal in ele­vat­ing South Asian Amer­i­can voic­es into con­ver­sa­tions on the Hill. I am proud to have SAALT’s sup­port on my bill, the NO HATE Act, which will help improve hate crime report­ing.”
Representative Grace Meng (NY-06): “I’m proud of the tremen­dous work SAALT does on behalf of the South Asian com­mu­ni­ty. We have a col­lec­tive respon­si­bil­i­ty to ensure our com­mu­ni­ties are safe from vio­lence, hate, and dis­crim­i­na­tion. I’m com­mit­ted to ensur­ing that my con­stituents have the sup­port and resources to keep our com­mu­ni­ties safe. I’m proud to part­ner with SAALT and am con­fi­dent it will con­tin­ue to play a piv­otal role in keep­ing our com­mu­ni­ties safe.”
For a record­ed stream of the Brief­ing, please click here.