We South Asians of Greater Seattle are uniting against hate. We are hosting a event called #WeBelong Peace Vigil: In honor of the Late Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who died in a hate crime in Kansas last week. Leaders, faith communities, organizations across the city will gather at Crossroads Park 16244 NE 8th Street, Bellevue, from 3:30 p.m.–5:30 p.m. on Sunday, March 5th.
It is a gathering of peace, to be resilient, to persist, to speak up and most importantly to state that we belong here and we are not complacent. We can not let fear dictate us. We also want to honor our brothers and sisters who risk their lives to protect this delicate fabric of society.
Two minutes of silence will be observed around the world: in Hyderabad, London, Chicago, New York, San Fransisco, Albuquerque, and many more cities.
This event is support by a growing list of local organizations below.
ACT NOW – Seatle
Washington State India Trade Relations Action Committee (WASITRAC)
National Federation of Indian American (NFIA)
Federation of Indian Associations
Indo American Friendship Forum Foundation
Indian Association of Western Washington
Washington Telangana Association (WATA)
Washington Telugu Association (WATS)
The Kiran Anjali Project
Americans for Refugees & Immigrants
Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR)
Bo M. Karlsson Foundation
Indian American Muslim Council
Seattle Tamil Sangam
India Arts & Heritage Society
Sikh Center of Seattle Gurudwara
Wing Luke Museum
Asian Counseling and Referral Service (ACRS)
Oriyas of Greater Seattle
Kerala Association of WA
Jewish Family Service
Khalsa Gurmat Center
Sahyadri Kannada Sangha
Shruti Seattle Music Band
Ithna-asheri Muslim Association of the Northwest (IMAN)
“I don’t understand why they don’t want me. I’m doing the best I can. I mean, I can’t help that I was brought here but I don’t know anything else besides being here and I didn’t realize that until I was in a holding cell last night for five hours. I was brought here. I didn’t choose to be here. And when I was brought here, I had to learn a whole new country and leave behind the one that I did know.”
A 22-year-old who was detained as she was leaving a press conference on immigrants’ rights Wednesday will not get a court hearing before she is deported, her lawyers said.
Daniela Vargas was in the process of renewing her application for Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama administration program that temporarily protects from deportation undocumented immigrants who came to the US as children. Vargas was an aspiring math teacher who went to college while under the program. And Bill Chandler, an immigrants’ advocate who knew Vargas well, said she had a receipt showing that her application was being processed.
Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a statement on Wednesday that the action was part of “targeted immigration enforcement.” On Thursday, the lawyer Nathan Elmore said ICE had indicated it would pursue immediate deportation against Vargas without allowing her to first have a court hearing. Vargas’s lawyers have filed a petition challenging ICE’s decision.
“ICE is supposed to target undocumented immigrants who commit crimes,” said Elmore. “Convicted criminals. Daniela doesn’t fit into any of these categories. Is this where you want your tax dollars directed?”
I have seen firsthand the devastating impact our current immigration policy has on the psychological, emotional and physical well-being of my patients and their children.
By Michael McNeil / The Seattle Times
February 24, 2017
These children suffer developmentally and educationally. They cannot access basic services such as early intervention, meal assistance or other government programs because their parents fear detection and deportation, even though a large proportion of these children are actually born in the United States and qualify for these programs.
You may have read about the deportation of a woman who had been living in Arizona for more than 20 years. She was well known to Immigration and Customs Enforcement and had been compliant in her regular check-ins. Left in the wake of her deportation are her husband and two children. My place as a pediatrics resident is not to argue the legality of our immigration policy. However, I can discuss the impact that these policies and procedures have on the children who pay the consequences of our current system.
I work at a health clinic in South Seattle, where the majority of patients are immigrants from Mexico and Central America. Recently, I had a 5-year-old come to my office whose mother was complaining that he was urinating on himself at home and at school. She also reported episodes of inconsolable crying and outbursts of rage, including kicking and punching other children. Upon further questioning, it was discovered that all of his symptoms started the week after his father was arrested in front of him and deported to Mexico. I was diagnosing a 5-year old with Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder.
They made me feel like such a crushed, mashed, hopeless old lady and I am a feisty, strong, articulated English speaker. I kept thinking that if this were happening to me, a person who is white, articulate, educated and fluent in English, what on earth is happening to people who don’t have my power?
I was pulled out of line in the immigration queue at Los Angeles airport as I came in to the USA. Not because I was Mem Fox the writer — nobody knew that — I was just a normal person like anybody else. They thought I was working in the States and that I had come in on the wrong visa.
I was receiving an honorarium for delivering an opening keynote at a literacy conference, and because my expenses were being paid, they said: “You need to answer further questions.” So I was taken into this holding room with about 20 other people and kept there for an hour and 40 minutes, and for 15 minutes I was interrogated.
The room was like a waiting room in a hospital but a bit more grim than that. There was a notice on the wall that was far too small, saying no cellphones allowed, and anybody who did use a cellphone had someone stand in front of them and yell: “Don’t use that phone!” Everything was yelled, and everything was public, and this was the most awful thing, I heard things happening in that room happening to other people that made me ashamed to be human.