Indian immigrants participate in 'Day Without Immigrants' protest in US

Indian immigrants took part in the nationwide "Day Without Immigrants" protests in the US.

The protest took off in cities like New York and San Fransisco, including a large rally outside the White House, aimed at building pressure on US President Joe Biden to prioritise immigrants' protection and bring reforms for them. Advocates from different countries who have been residing in the US called on the Biden administration to offer a pathway to citizenship through the Build Back Better bill. Some families travelled to Washington DC to demand change, and others chose to not go to work, send their children to school or purchase anything on February 14.

The organisers say the point is to show the immigrant community's economic impact if they didn't spend their money or provide labour. Advocates say that there is a lot of frustration building up at the Biden administration and Democratic congressional leaders for promising immigration reforms on the campaign trail and not delivering.

24-year-old Sumana Kaluvai grew up in America as a de facto American, but she faces the prospect of self-deportation and family separation. Voicing the concerns of an estimated 200,000 young immigrants living legally in the US for years as dependents of their parents on temporary work visas, Sumana and her advocacy group The Hidden Dream joined the protest in the western city of San Fransisco.

After turning 21, many visa dreamers like Sumana abruptly lose legal immigration status. They are forced to choose between returning to their native countries where they have spent little time, switching to an F-1 visa or continuing to stay in the US illegally to stay with their families.

Some families have experienced slow-rolling family separations under the legal framework. Vara Ramakrishnan, an Indian Immigrant and a human rights activist, came out on a cold winter morning to support the "Day Without Immigrants". The strong-willed advocate underscores the visa caps and lengthy backlogs for green card applications, especially for foreign nationals from India, who have to wait decades for permanent residency.

Many participants are planning another protest in Washington on February 28 to rally near the White House a day before President Joe Biden's State of the Union address.


iGlobal News