Some of you have supported the administration because you thought its cruel policies didn’t affect “us” — only people that some of us probably didn’t care about or may have actively disliked: Mexicans, jihadists, undocumented workers and others. You didn’t care about the Muslim ban. You didn’t care when hundreds of Central American and Mexican children were separated at the border. Heck, you didn’t even care when a 6-year-old Indian girl died at the southern border.
Sree Sreenivasan

But Monday morning’s news of the administration’s new ruling lays bare its full cruelty and will affect millions of legal immigrants (including thousands of Indians) who will be punished for making use of public assistance programs, such as public housing and food stamps (no matter how temporarily) they are legally entitled to.
I’ve been saying, relatively quietly, for three years now, that Trump’s goal — and that of advisers like Stephen Miller — is a nation with zero new immigration of brown and black people (they’re hoping thousands of Norwegians will happily move here instead!) and hurting the folks already here.
Many of you likely supported Trump for reasons I’ve heard from people I know very well: the generous tax cuts for the wealthy and/or the tough talk on terrorism (Indians tend to not care as much about abortion or guns or the Supreme Court). He said we were “very, very special people.” He appears to have hired more Indian-Americans in prominent roles than any other minority (hello, Ajit Pai, Nikki Haley, Seema Verma, Raj Shah, Neil Chatterjee and many more).
Trump's cruelty never stops

Trump's cruelty never stops

But you don’t get to pick and choose which parts of the Trump era you like, as if it’s some kind of buffet. As my wise mom says, you’re responsible for everything on your plate. As many folks have pointed out, saying “I’m here for the tax cuts, but not the racism,” isn’t an option any longer.
If you continue to blindly support the administration after today, you are complicit in NEW problems about to hit millions in this country.
I know some of you are probably thinking that it’s OK for the government to deny green cards to poor people who came here legally. That’s because of a certain kind of educated brown privilege we don’t recognize or talk about (so many of us arrived here with some of the best degrees in the world, including from the Indian Institute of Technology, Indian Institute of Management and, in my case, from St. Stephen’s College, Delhi).
Mississippi ICE raids are a call to action for the civil rights generation

Mississippi ICE raids are a call to action for the civil rights generation

It’s the same reason so many Indians love talking endlessly about the stats that purport to show Indian-Americans as the richest and most successful ethnic group in this country. But folks like Sudha Acharya of the South Asian Council for Social Services can tell you about the number of Indian Americans struggling in NYC alone, using the food pantry and other services SACSS provides. And I can tell you about the time I met my first Indian-American homeless man. Many of you who have been to parties in our home over the years have met him, too: Ravi is a waiter who lives in a homeless shelter and works multiple jobs to get back on his feet (he also doesn’t shy away from talking about his situation, mainly so people know there are Indians like him, too).
Thanks for reading this far. I know I may lose some friends by writing this. Some relatives may stop talking to me and I’ll likely get hate mail from some of the Indians who seem to spend their days being outraged online, but I just had to share my thoughts. Unquestioning support of any leader anywhere in the world diminishes us all.
I leave you with the story of Raja Krishnamoorthi, the Democratic Congressman from the Chicago area. He talks often and eloquently about how he came to this country as a child and how his family lived in public housing and, yes, used food stamps. He went on to have a successful business career and is now in the halls of Congress. If this new rule were in place when he was little, his family would never have gotten green cards.
Think about all the good that has come from the Congressman’s life, all the positive contributions he and his family have made to this country. If the rules change as the President wants, opportunities will be lost for so many people.
I want to live in an America that gives us more Raja Krishnamoorthis, not fewer. And not just because he’s Indian.