The South Asian Times

17 June 2018 19:34 PM

Indians more at risk of discrimination than deportation: Tom Suozzi

New York: Though the Indian community in the US is worried over President  Trump’s anti-immigrant rhetoric and his planned review of H-1B visa program, Thomas Suozzi, who represents New York’s 3rd district and is  a member of the House Foreign Affairs Committee, feels that Indians are more at risk of discrimination than deportation under Trump’s America First policies.

Suozzi, a Democrat who had earlier served as Nassau County Executive, was quoted in The Indian Express as saying, “The President’s target is really the Mexicans, coming from the southern border. The Indians are not the genesis or the basis of his policy. They may, however, l end up getting caught in his policies. America has done a poor job of protecting its borders for decades. Now, people who have been here for a long time are caught up. Criminals, however, need to be most concerned.”

The interview to the newspaper in India was facilitated by Varinder Bhalla, a longtime supporter of Suozzi.  

Suozzi, who during his 2016 election campaign for the Congressional seat, had received widespread support from the Indian community, said that ever since Trump assumed office, the Congressman’s discussions with the Indian community have been focused around discrimination. “(Regarding deportation) I have not noticed the same kind of anxiety from Indians as much as the Latinos. A large number of Indians live here legally. Indians involved in illegal immigration are those who have overstayed their visas. It is certainly against the rules. But they are not the target of this government. The government is targeting people who have committed more serious crimes like drunken driving and other felonies.”

Suozzi further said that the crackdown on illegal immigrants has been an ongoing process. “Historically it is a matter of general policy to try and enforce rules when people overstay their visas. It is easier to keep track on the record of visas.”

Update: 19 May, 2017