South Asians on anti-immigration legislation in the USAFollowing is a joint statement by a South Asian activist groups, Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (ASATA), Friends of South Asia, and Narika - a helpline for abused South Asian women, based in the San Francisco Bay Area:
We oppose the continuing domestic “war on terrorism” and “war on immigrants”: movements that we understand as intricately linked.
For us, opposition to and mobilization around the various versions of HR4437 means showing our solidarity with other immigrant communities, particularly our Latino brothers and sisters, as they fight what is also our fight.
Immigration to this country does not denote positions of privilege, but of plight. The majority of us did not make a decision to migrate from our homes, families, and communities: we were forced here by the violent effects of global economic inequity. The U.S. government is using a double-edged sword as it coerces countries in the Majority World into Free Trade Agreements and then simultaneously criminalizes the people displaced by them.
We denounce the use of these displaced citizens of the world as cannon fodder for the United States’ imperialist crusades in Afghanistan, Iraq, and now Iran. The tactic of recruiting undocumented immigrants for active service by offering them citizenship in exchange for death is a gross and manipulative practice that exemplifies the intimate linkages between USforeign policy, the international war on terrorism, and the domestic war against immigrants and perceived immigrants.
It is also critical for us to connect the ongoing and often secret raids, mass detentions and mass deportations that have been the tools of the War on Terror, with this anti-immigrant legislation. The cross-collaborations between federal and state agencies suggested by the different versions of HR4437, along with the proposed increase in detention beds and aggravated felony laws will have a cumulatively huge impact on communities like ours that continue to be the targets of the War on Terror.
We hope to stand as a counterpoint to the media’s strong emphasis that this is a movement of people who are unquestioning supporters of America. We are not merely good immigrants waving American flags; rather, we understand and resist the devastating economic and political policies of this administration.