SEATTLE, WA— Archana Sunil, a health and medicare insurance advisor in Greater Settale, WA has launched a petition to the Seattle City Council, urging the council to reject Council member Kshama Sawant’s resolution against India.
“The Indian community in the United States would like the Seattle City Council to vote against Council Member Sawant’s resolution against India that she is planning to pass on Jan 21st. Ms. Sawant is severely misguided, misinformed, indulging in spreading divisive and dangerous lies about India and interfering in the internal matters of another country,” the petition said. “It is unfortunate that Council Member Sawant is misinformed about the history, the urgent need for and the future humanitarian impacts of India’s recent Citizenship Amendment Act, which was passed democratically and is one of the most generous human rights acts passed in that region.”
The petition said that Senator Frank Lautenberg (D-NJ), in 1990, introduced amendment to the US policies for granting refugee status, and subsequently Citizenship, to persecuted religious minorities – Christians, Jews and few others, from the former Soviet Union (FSU) and Southeast Asia. In Dec 2015, the Obama administration expanded this amendment to include religious minorities such as Jews, Christians, Baha’is, and select others from countries like Iran
“Those seeking asylum to US under these provisions are required to prove that they are a bonafide member of one of the designated religious groups; i.e. only those belonging to specific religion, as provided in the Lautenberg Amendment, can get refugee status to US,” says the petition.
Like laws in any country the CAA is a law with limited scope to rehabilitate religious minorities who were left behind on the other side of the border during the 1947 India-Pakistan partition, the petition says.
“Just a quick search online will reveal to you that the percentage of Hindu population in Pakistan in 1941 was nearly 14% and today is about 1.5%, similarly in Bangladesh it was 22% Hindus in 1951, now reduced to about 10%. While the numbers may seem small in percentages the actual numbers are in millions,” according to the petition. “At the same time the percentage of Muslims in India since 1950 has grown from approximately 9% to 15% ( as per the 2011 census). Several studies such as Pew Research show that by 2050 India will be home to the largest number of Muslims and Hindus in the world.”
The petition says that Ms. Sawant is missing the fact that all the CAA does is rehabilitate these religious minorities and has nothing to do with turning away Muslims, the petition says. “Muslims, who are Indian citizens will continue to be an integral part of India, and Muslims as well as non-Muslims from all over the world are always welcome in India through the usual legal immigration channels. In fact, India has granted citizenship to over 500 Pakistani nationals and continues to do so,” according to petition.
Click here to read the full petition.