Washington, D.C.: As the Trump Administration intentionally fails to address a national health crisis that has already claimed the lives of over 120,000 people in the U.S., they continue to double down on criminalizing immigrant communities while still exploiting their labor to carry us through the pandemic. This week’s executive order extended the 60 day ban on the issuance of green cards announced in April and further expands the ban to H‑1B, H‑2B, L, and certain J non-immigrant visas through the end of the year. This primarily targets high-skilled and guest workers, undermining family reunification and diversity visa programs.
SAALT’s Executive Director Lakshmi Sridaran said,“Over 70 percent of H1B visa holders in the U.S. are from South Asian countries. Our community members and their families continue to be jeopardized because of these restrictions. If the goal was to protect U.S. workers, they would be given PPE, sick days, and healthcare in the midst of this deadly pandemic. From the Muslim Ban to targeting a range of immigrant populations from H‑1B visaholders to DACA recipients, this administration’s racist and anti-immigrant agenda underscores their abysmal failure in leadership.”
For more information on who will be impacted by this latest executive order, check out this fact sheet from the Center for Immigrant Rights Clinic at Penn State Law.
UPDATE, July 10th
Earlier this week, we put out a call for volunteers to assist with an outreach effort to provide food and restaurant workers from the South Asian community with “know your rights” resources. The alert was prompted by community reports about an immigration enforcement action targeting workers in the restaurant industry over the past week in DC. Out of respect for those directly affected, we are not providing any additional information at this time. We will continue our work to protect and defend our communities, especially at a time when immigrants are being targeted, whether at workplaces and homes or at the border.
July 8, 2019
An Indian restaurant in DC was raided by ICE last week. Several Hindi speaking employees were taken to the Montgomery County jail in Maryland.
Given the prospect of immigration raids in the DC area, we are calling for volunteers to join us for an outreach effort on July 13th and 14th.
SAALT is seeking volunteers to help with outreach, translation, and legal counsel. Click here for immediate steps you can take.
SAALT’s 2018 report documents hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric aimed at our communities from Election Day 2016 to Election Day 2017. SAALT documented 302 incidents of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric aimed at South Asian, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, Middle Eastern, and Arab communities in the United States, of which an astounding 82% were motivated by anti-Muslim sentiment. The 302 incidents are a more than 45% increase from the year leading up to the 2016 election cycle, levels not seen since the year after September 11.
SAALT and our allies are tracking hate crimes committed against South Asian, Sikh, Muslim and Arab communities.