My children asked if we would have to leave the US after Trump won: Nisha Desai Biswal

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Biswal talked about racial divide in the US.

Nisha Desai Biswal (Photo credit: The American Bazaar)

Assistant Secretary of State for South and Central Asia Nisha Desai Biswal said in a recent interview that the post-election fear and anxiety among immigrants touched her household too, when he children asked her if they would have to leave the country because Donald Trump won the election to the White House.

“There is a lot of anxiety now in a lot of communities across the country. Immigrants, minorities, people who have lived in the kind of vulnerable communities across America, the lower income, those who might be of different sexual orientation, those who worship a faith that is not a dominant faith,” Biswal said in an interview to PTI in Washington, DC.

A day after the elections were held, Biswal said she experienced this fear in her own home.

“It was shocking to me that my young children seven and nine had picked up so much of the rhetoric of the campaign that themselves, a day after the elections, expressed their concerns and said, ‘Does this mean that we have to leave, because we are immigrants’,” Biswal said.

“And I reassured them that they are Americans, they have every right to be here and they have an obligation to be here, to be part of what brings this country and moves this country forward and I reassured them that not only do they belong here, but that they are welcomed and valued members of America,” she said.

“Will this government continue to value us, respect our rights and provide opportunities for us? And that is something that the President-elect (Trump) and the incoming administration need to address and need to provide leadership and build confidence across all Americans that they would lead for all Americans,” she said.

“I am hopeful that so many of the people that are coming in to this next administration are people who share those values, people who are patriots and want to see America continue to be that beacon, that shining beacon on the hill…that represents inclusion. But that has not been the rhetoric that has brought this President-elect into office,” she said.

Biswal talked about the racial divide in the US.

“I do understand the anxiety that many people in many parts of this country feel about the change that is happening so rapidly. What I don’t understand and what I have very difficult time accepting is the rhetoric that those who would aspire to be our leaders, the divisive rhetoric that they themselves have employed,” she said.

“Because I think, one has to engage people’s fears from the perspective of trying to bridge the gaps, bridge the divides and try to assure them, reassure them, and build confidence and build trust, instead of trying to exasperate those fears and exploit those fears,” she said.