WASHINGTON, D.C. (March 3, 2017) — National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development (National CAPACD) extends our condolences to the family of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was shot and killed in an act of hate last week in Olathe, Kansas. He and Alok Madasani, two Indian American immigrants, were shot by a man who thought they were Middle Eastern. They were targeted solely on the basis of their physical appearance, which incited the shooter to believe that they did not belong in “his” country.
National CAPACD is deeply troubled by this violent act of hate, motivated by the Islamophobic, xenophobic, and racist rhetoric being perpetuated in this country in order to divide communities. The disturbing words of Alok and Srinivas’s shooter, “Get out of my country” reverberate in many of the policies that are targeting those most vulnerable in our communities– Muslims, immigrants, indigenous communities, LGBTQ communities, low-income communities, and communities of color—forcing many to question the right to call this country “ours.”
The death of Srinivas Kuchibhotla is not an isolated incident. It is a reminder of the incredible human cost of anti- immigrant sentiment and policies– a cost those most vulnerable in our communities are forced to bear.
Last week, over 55 people were detained in immigration raids at Asian restaurants in Mississippi. Escalated federal immigration enforcement and increased policing directed towards communities of color have created an environment of profound anxiety and crippling fear. The already vulnerable communities that our coalition represents— undocumented immigrants, limited English proficient populations, low-income people, Native Hawaiian and indigenous populations, and religious minorities—are being made more vulnerable, often scared to leave their homes to go to school and work or traverse the neighborhoods that they helped to build.
When immigrants no longer feel safe in their homes and neighborhoods, our neighborhoods lose their definition and our country loses its character. National CAPACD will honor our commitment to preserve #OurNeighborhoods by protecting the right of our communities to exist safely in a country that is all of ours.