Rep. Bera (D)-CA7, Rep. Jayapal (D)-WA7, Suman Raghunathan SAALT Executive Director, Rep. Crowley (D)-NY14, Rep. Khanna (D)-CA17
Rep. Bera (D)-CA7, Rep. Jayapal (D)-WA7, Suman Raghunathan SAALT Executive Director, Rep. Crowley (D)-NY14, Rep. Khanna (D)-CA17

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — Amid rising racial tensions, and an increasing amount of targeted attacks, Indian Americans across the country have been holding town hall meetings to express their concerns against ethnic and religious minorities in the U.S.

“No matter what gunmen or the President (Donald Trump) say, this is our country, we are here to stay, and we will keep demanding our rightful and equal place in this quintessential nation of immigrants,” said Suman Raghunathan of South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT), at a town hall discussion Friday.

Prominent members from the community in attendance at Friday’s town hall included the likes of Arjun Sethi of the Georgetown University Law Center, Dr. Revathi Vikram of ASHA for Women, Shabab Ahmed Mirza of KhushDC, Darakshan Raja of Washington Peace Center and Kathy Doan of the Capital Area Immigrants’ Rights Coalition.

“This is a seminal moment for our communities to be united for action, to take stock of what our communities need, for our communities to know our rights as we come into contact with law enforcement, and for our communities to build power through deep solidarity,” Raghunathan said.

At a separate roundtable discussion, Sen. Ben Carding, the ranking Democrat on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, held President Trump personally responsible for the current state of the immigrant atmosphere in the U.S. “It starts with the leadership. President Trump’s comments as a candidate and a President is just the opposite of what you need,” he said.

A recent SAALT study outlines more than 200 instances of hate violence and xenophobic political rhetoric during last year’s general election.

“While the judiciary doggedly blocks the President’s ‘Muslim Bans’, the damage continues to be done as each week uncovers a new inventory of victims of racially motivated attacks,”said Lakshmi Sridaran.