Washington: South Asians lawyers body has condemned the executive orders on immigration signed by President Donald Trump alleging that it encourage racial and religious profiling and almost exclusively target communities of colour.
“The policies announced yesterday encourage racial and religious profiling and almost exclusively target communities of colour,” the South Asian Bar Association of North America (SABA) and the National Asian Pacific American Bar Association (NAPABA) said in a joint statement.
There are 1.3 million undocumented Asian Pacific Americans, including those brought to the US as children, whose families will be directly affected by these orders, the statement said.
In recent months, Arab, Middle Eastern, Muslim, Sikh, and South Asian Americans have been the targets of more hate incidents and violence than at any time since the immediate aftermath of September 11 — with a noticeable increase in anti-immigrant bias.
These executive orders that breed distrust of immigrants will only serve to make these communities less safe, it added.
“The President’s actions demonise and stigmatise groups of people and further the divisions in our country, while reinforcing the fear and distrust permeating our communities,” said Vichal Kumar, president of SABA.
“With the stroke of a pen, these divisive actions have caused grave uncertainty, shock and grief amongst our must vulnerable. We must continue to provide safety and security for our communities and not allow these divisive actions to further tear us part,” he alleged.
“Actions like the President’s executive orders have been shown in the past to discourage victims from reporting crimes to law enforcement officials because of fear of prosecution based on immigration status and threatens the years of progress we have made towards creating safer communities,” said NAPABA President Cyndie Chang.
“As attorneys, we are committed to ensuring that all persons in the United States have equal access to justice and the ability to seek assistance from law enforcement without fear of reprisal or harm,” Ms. Chang said.
SABA and NAPABA alleged that these orders, along with the reportedly forthcoming executive actions to restrict immigration based on nationality and religion and to close the borders to refugees, represent a rejection of America’s core values as a country, which has always welcomed those who have been forced to flee their homes to escape conflict or persecution.
“These actions also represent a step backwards in decades—long efforts to create trust between law enforcement agencies, immigrant communities, and the broader American public — which is a critical component of public safety for all Americans,” it said.