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Dear Donald Trump, You Need Indians More Than You Think

06/10/2016 1:04 PM IST | Updated 11/10/2016 8:42 AM IST
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Mike Segar / Reuters

The American elections are less than 35 days away. While many are fearing Trump's ascension to the most powerful position in America, not many have detailed how his reign might affect America-born Indians, as well as Indian citizens studying/working there.

Trump's racism is likely to inform his policies, thus affecting the lives of Indians in the US. The wall which he promises to build to keep out Mexicans, a.k.a "brown people", has ignited the dormant fire of racism among Conservative White Americans. In case you've forgotten "brown people" also includes Indians.

If you cause any trouble to Indians living in or visiting the United States, you will be ruining your great country.

Fact is, most White Supremacists can't differentiate between Latinos and Indians. To them, we're all the same. It doesn't matter if we are legally in the country, with Americans passports and visas. To them, we're all encroachers. These xenophobic feelings towards brown people have turned into a movement of sorts.

There are other factors that might give Indians problems if there is a Trump presidency.

Firstly, 65 per cent of Indian Americans are said to be left leaning. With rare exceptions like Bobby Jindal, they support the Democratic Party, and identify with its ideals. So the chances of them voting for Trump are highly unlikely. As for Trump, he has barely acknowledged The Indian-American community, leave along trying to win them over.

Secondly, there is a very large Indian Muslim community living in the United States. Most of these Muslims are as horrified with ISIS as anyone else. Yet, Trump and his supporters have tarnished all Muslims with the same brush and dubbed them as extremists. Clearly, this is a problem for Indian Muslims.

Thirdly, Indians tend to be more employable than Americans, with many holding advanced degrees and high skills. If we're taking jobs away, it's because we have qualifications that Americans lack. We're not interested in "stealing" people's jobs, we are just trying to survive. Just like every other American.

In addition, Indian Americans are wealthy. Our fathers did not leave us "a small loan of a million dollars" to make do with. We like to earn our own money. We earn more than any other Asian American community in the United States, with nearly $88,000 as the median annual income.

We understand the value of money and prefer to save money for the future. And unlike Trump, we are not deceitful (guess who intentionally lost $909 million dollars to avoid paying federal taxes?). It's not that we're not "smart" enough to think of it. Trust me, we know the tax laws like the back of our hand. We're rich even after we pay our taxes. Indian Americans like to be model citizens. We don't want to get into trouble. We live and let live.

Being the fantastic businessman that you claim to be, you should know that mistreating and discriminating against us will cost you dearly.

Lastly, if Trump becomes President, Indians may no longer be interested in spending time in the US, be it for tourism, education or work. Tourists don't want to spend hours being frisked at the airport, and American-born Indians don't want to be asked, "Where are you from?" They were born in the United States, so they are American. They are as American as Mr. Trump.

I would like to give a warning to the Republican candidate, Mr. Donald J. Trump. If you cause any trouble to Indians living in or visiting the United States, you will be ruining your great country.

About 28% of Indian Americans work in science and engineering professions. If these Indians decide to abandon the US, how do you plan to develop and grow in these fields? There are many other countries that welcome Indians and would love to have them in their workforce.

With regard to tourism, I would like to inform you that by the end of 2016, around 1.2 million Indians will have visited the United States. Each Indian spends around $4000 during their stay. We help boost the American travel and tourism industry. You need us in more ways than one. Being the fantastic businessman that you claim to be, you should know that mistreating and discriminating against us will cost you dearly.

You can build a wall to keep the Mexicans out. You can ban all Muslims from entering the country. But you can't stop Indians from leaving your country.

You are deterring us from helping build your nation. India and the United States have always maintained a friendly relationship. Your presidency will ensure that you lose one of your strongest allies. Hence, kindly treat my fellow Indians who visit your country and my extended family who have resided in your country for generations with respect.

So, Mr. Trump, with all due respect, you can build a wall to keep the Mexicans out. You can ban all Muslims from entering the country. But you can't stop Indians from leaving your country. Whether they have Indian or American passports, India will welcome them with open arms.

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