Though shaken by recent spate of gun violence in Texas, the allure of the Lone Star state remains among desis
“Texas still remains a magnet for immigrants, especially those from the Indian subcontinent because of its warm weather, ample job opportunities, tax benefits, unlimited land and no zoning restriction.”
According to statistics there are 434,221 Indian Americans making up 1.5% of the state’s population as of 2020. The second largest US state by both area and population has consistently remained a preferred place to settle by the Indian American community as well as Indians living on work-visas in the country.
Read: Desis wonder if Texas is still an immigrant magnet (May 10, 2023)
Its diverse landscapes, and urban and industrialized metro cities like – Houston, San Antonio, Dallas, Greater Houston and Austin with ample job opportunities as well as sunny weather have attracted immigrants from India.
But off late, thanks to the recent tragedies, the state with its questionable gun laws is now in news for all the wrong reasons, with many debating if they should reconsider their decision to raise families in Texas.
However, many Texans assert that gun violence can take place anywhere in the United States and records show that even the most unsuspecting places have fallen prey to gun menace.
Dan Mayur, an author, historian and culture researcher is based in Sugarland, Texas – a suburb southwest of Houston known for its great schools and diverse population.
About Texas being in news for all the wrong reasons, Mayur says, “I would say, what is happening in Texas, or actually all over the nation is, indeed sad and very unbecoming of a modern, affluent, democratic nation like the United States.”
Read: Indian professional Aishwarya Thatikonda killed in Texas shooting (May 8, 2023)
Most Texans like Mayur agree that the happenings are concerning but are unsure if this is a problem unique to the state.
Greater Houston resident, Manish Shah says, “While no one can condone the gun laws, we live with the realization that mindless gun violence is a problem but that can occur anywhere not just in Texas.”
“The question is how we can prevent it. Hanging states or going to some place ‘safer’ is a myopic move. The larger question is not just for the Texans but for Americans on what it will take for the authorities to say this is enough.”
Historically, it has been seen that most immigrants especially coming from India look for academic resources as well as safety before settling down at a place. So, do such incidents taint the states’ image as a happy place to raise families.
“Texas still remains a magnet for immigrants, especially those from the Indian subcontinent because of its warm weather, ample job opportunities, tax benefits, unlimited land and no zoning restriction,” says Mayur.
“It is true that Texas is in news lately for the wrong reasons – unpredictable random shootings. However, the allure of Texas remains,” he adds.
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On what makes the state still a choice for families from South Asia, he says, “I would say that it is for two reasons. First, the factors that make Texas attractive are still intact. Secondly, Gun violence is an unfortunate problem but it is a national issue not confined to any specific area.”
“Sadly, every corner of the country from Colorado to Virginia and California to Florida and every place in between is subject to random acts of insanity,” he says. “It is not a problem unique to Texas. No place in America is safe today.”
About the recent spate of incidents, especially over the weekends, Shah says, “We are a densely populated state. More people – more problems. But sure, work needs to be done to ensure that incidents such as these do not happen.”
Dan Mayur, while agreeing to the fact that Texas is more in news because it is a large state with a large population so likely has a greater occurrence of and greater reporting of violence, also gives another perspective.
Read: Gun Violence in the United States: Truth and Facts (February 16, 2023)
He says, “The fact is that this whole country has the frontier cowboy culture. This is the history deeply ingrained in every cell of every American. While politicians can make it a racial or ethnic issue or a mental health issue, I think it is a deep-rooted cultural problem.”
“ And I think it is exacerbated by socio-economic disparity coupled with a senseless espousal of the outdated Second Amendment to the American Constitution. It is not a unique problem in Texas.”
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