Preet Bharara, the former United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, was among the prosecutors whose resignation President Trump ordered.
SAN FRANCISCO (Diya TV) — Former United States attorney Preet Bharara has called the growing number of targeted attacks against Indian Americans across the country “disturbing,” and said the U.S.’ long tradition of embracing immigrants from all over the world as its own is what makes “America great.”
“…The US built a system of laws… that enshrines the right to equal opportunity and embodies the sacred American ideal that every child, even poor, orphaned or immigrant can rise higher than that child’s parents could ever have imagined,” he was quoted as saying by The Times of India.“In that vein, some recent events have been especially painful and disturbing and deserve some focus. I’m speaking of the incidents recently where Indian-Americans appear to have been targeted in hate crimes,” Bharara said.
The 48-year-old Bharara made his first public appearance Thursday since being dismissed from his role as the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York by President Donald Trump.
During his remarks, Bharara touched on the Kansas triple-shooting that left Srinivas Kuchibhotla dead and Alok Madasani injured. The two Indian men were allegedly thought to be Middle Eastern by their attacker, 51-year-old Navy veteran Adam Purinton, who also allegedly told them to “get out of my country” before he began firing.
“That mindless murder along with other incidents have caused an unfortunate wave of alarm throughout India. There are reports that people are now afraid to visit the U.S. even for a holiday. That breaks my heart.
“The people in the country of my birth now fear in large numbers coming to America – that country that embraced me and my family and has given us so much,” Bharara said.
Given the current rhetoric and political landscape regarding immigration, Bharara said there are distinctions being drawn between the future flow of legal and illegal immigration.
“But one needs to pay careful attention and watch and listen to what is really being said and what is not being said. Throughout history intolerant people have always figured out a way to make certain folks feel unwelcome,” Bharara said.
Bharara reflected briefly on the journey of his parents from Punjab to America, and his own ascension to becoming the Big Apple’s top prosecutor.
“For me having that position (U.S. Attorney) meant a lot, particularly given where I came from and how I got here. I’m the son of a father who came from virtually nothing…with barely pennies in his pocket and hope in his heart as he arrived in America with a wife and infant son with an unpronounceable name who less than 40 years later somehow became the chief federal law enforcement officer in financial capital of the world,” Bharara said.
“And now even after being fired by a president, is improbably addressing an audience in a hall where Abraham Lincoln once spoke, which I think is not bad for a kid like me named Preet Bharara who hails from Punjab, India by way of Jersey,” he said.