SAALT calls for complete overhaul of US immigration system

Historic Biden-Harris win provides opportunity for pushing policies that matter to South Asians.

South Asian Americans Lead­ing Together (SAALT), a leading community advocacy organization, has called for a complete overhaul of the US immigration system to ensure a pathway to citizenship to all.

The election of Joe Biden and Kamala Harris provides an opportunity for pushing the policies that matter to the South Asian communities, it said congratulating the Democratic pair on their historic win.

“This election opens up greater potential for pushing the policies that matter to our communities,” said Lakshmi Sridaran, Executive Director of SAALT, congratulating Biden and Harris on their historic win.

“We will rely on the same vigilance that propelled historic voter turnout and accurate vote counts to hold this Administration accountable to our communities.”

READ: SAALT September Hate Report documents hate violence, racism and Islamophobia (October 28, 2019)

“This means a complete overhaul of our immigration system that ensures a pathway to citizenship for all, covid-19 relief packages that include immigrants of all status, increased language access resources, an end to detention and the militarization of US borders, and the transformation of policing as we know it,” Sridaran said.

“We will celebrate and heal, but we also know the work of undoing the immense harm of the last four years and affirmatively laying the groundwork for meaningful systems change requires intention and political will,” she said.

“In order for this Administration to truly acknowledge the Black and brown communities whose years of organizing delivered their victory, beyond representation, we expect them to exercise that political will to the full extent on behalf of our communities,” Sridaran said

READ: Sudden increase in hate crimes against South Asians a result of Trump’s rhetoric: SAALT (February 2, 2018)

The historic voter turnout and inspiring shifts of traditionally conservative states were a direct result of years of organizing by Black and brown communities who felt the brunt of the Trump Administration’s xenophobic and racist polices and dangerous rhetoric, SAALT said.

The South Asian population in the South tripled from 2000 to 2014, and of the top ten metropolitan areas in the US that expe­rienced the largest South Asian population growth, five were in the South, it noted.

A focus on disenfranchised voters of color instead of relying on the Democratic Party’s usual outsized focus on moderate white voters, harnessed the political organizing power of communities of color across Georgia, SAALT said.

This critical shift in priorities should inform the Biden-Harris Administration.

“At SAALT, we look forward to continuing to build community power, strengthening coalitions across communities of color, and advocating for just and equitable federal policies alongside the new Administration,” Sridaran said.

READ MORE:

SAALT announces mass mobilization on Saturday, first anniversary of Trump’s Muslim ban (January 23, 2018)

Sudden increase in hate crimes against South Asians a result of Trump’s rhetoric: SAALT (February 2, 2018)

SAALT to host town hall on hate crimes against South Asian Americans in North Carolina (October 4, 2017)

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