Condemn racially or religiously motivated crimes and assure our immigrants their safety

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Dear Mr. President,

India Center of Westchester is an organization based in Westchester County, NY, which seeks to marshal and centralize the rich and diverse heritage of India and give it a home in New York, We are writing to you to express our deep concern and anguish about the shooting of of two Indian men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, and Alok Madasani, 32, at the Austins Bar & Grill in Olathe, Kansas, on February 22, 2017. Srinivas Kuchibhotla died in the hospital from his injuries, and Alok Madasani has been released from the hospital. The FBI is investigating whether this could be a hate crime, amid reports that the gunman harassed the victims before opening fire. The two victims were qualified engineers and were legal immigrants from India.

While we are relieved to see a statement from the White House condemning this criminal act, it would be mean a lot to our community if there were a statement or other outreach from the White House offering support to the bereaved family, and providing reassurance to the wider community, in addition to condemning the criminal act. In Westchester, the South Asian community that we work with, consists of educated, peace loving and successful immigrant families. These are people who are proud Americans and contribute tremendously to the economy, society and their community. It is not appropriate that law abiding legal residents of the United States should live in fear for their very lives, and wonder if the government is committed to their safety in their own country. We would all feel reassured if there was a strong statement from the White House condemning racial crimes, assuring law abiding immigrants that they are safe in this country and letting people know that any racially or religiously motivated crimes will not be tolerated. Unless nipped in the bud, such hate crimes will grow, as evidenced by the growing threats against the jewish community in our neighborhood.

We have complete faith that you, as our President, will do the right thing to strongly discourage acts of violence like the shooting in Kansas and to provide safety, support and reassurance to the Indian immigrant community.

Regards



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