New York– Sunayana Dumala, the widow of Indian techie Srinivas Kuchibhotla who was killed in a hate crime last year in Kansas, was a Congressional guest at the State of the Union address delivered by President Donald Trump.
Dumala called the Tuesday night speech “welcoming and positive” on reforming immigration.
“In the very beginning he (Trump) said that we all have our differences but we have to work in unity and harmony,” she told the Kansas City TV station, KHSB. “That is welcome.”
“And he did address immigration and that there is a need to fix a broken system,” she added. That is very positive too.”
Republican Representative Kevin Yoder tweeted that he invited her to the President’s ceremonial speech “in recognition for her tireless efforts to promote peace and as a message to the Indian community that the US is a nation of immigrants and they are welcome here.”
Dumala is at risk of being sent out of the US because she came in as a dependent on her husband’s H1-B temporary professional visa but the deportation has been stayed.
Before attending Trump’s address, Dumala met House Speaker Paul Ryan and Cathy McMorris Rodgers, the chair of the House Republican Conference, and other lawmakers, according to KHSB’s Twitter feed from Washington.
Kuchibhotla was killed and his friend Alok Madasani was injured when a former Navyman Adam Purinton allegedly fired on them last February outside a restaurant in Kansas while shouting, “Get out of my country”.
Purinton is awaiting trial on charges of murder and committing a hate crime.
Yoder is the sponsor of a bill aimed at cutting the delays for professional Indian applicants for green cards which gives them permanent immigration status. The wait time now is over 11 years and is likely to grow longer.
The bill, “Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act of 2017”, seeks to do away with national quotas for issuing green cards which leads to long waits for Indians because of the large numbers of professionals from the country — many already in the US on H1-B visas — who qualify for immigration.
The Indian Association of Kansas City thanked Yoder for inviting Dumala to the presidential address and said: “This further strengthens our belief and confidence in the American system and its constitution that everyone is respected, loved and is welcome.” (IANS)