24 Mar

The meeting was attended by eight members of Congress

As part of its ongoing campaign against a rise in hate violence against South Asians, the South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) hosted a congressional briefing and a town hall in Washington, DC, on Thursday.

The briefing with congressional leaders, held on Capitol Hill in the morning, was attended by eight members of Congress and leaders of various immigrants and civil rights groups.

The briefing “is an important step in making sure President Trump doesn’t escape his responsibilities,” said Suman Raghunathan, Executive Director of SAALT, in a press release.

“As President Trump continues to test fire Muslim bans, this administration appears intent on intensifying efforts to ignore and provoke hate violence,” she said.  “President [Trump] has a sworn duty to protect the rights and safety of all Americans.”

The briefing condemned the hate violence in recent months, including deadly shootings in Kansas and Washington State, numerous arson attacks and vandalism of mosques, businesses, and homes nationwide, and mounting fear by our communities across the country.

Indian American Congressman Ami Bera said: “As a nation, we must come together to stand up to these disturbing acts of hate violence — starting with the President.”

“These hateful attacks do not reflect who we are as a nation of immigrants, but such violence could do irreparable damage to our reputation around the world,” he added.

“The resolution that Congressman Crowley and I introduced, along with the work of SAALT are steps in the direction of ending this vitriol, but every single person in this country has a stake in ending hate. This falls on all of us, I would encourage the current administration to remember that,” said Indian American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal.