Recent Event Highlights: Department of Justice Voluntary Interrogations, Balbar Singh Sodhi Murdered in Post 9/11 Hate Crime, Hamtrack, Michigan is the first jurisdiction to provide language assistance in a South Asian language â€“ Bengali â€“ to voters following a lawsuit by the Department of Justice, Third wave of South Asian immigrants begins, including HU-B visa holders, students, and working class families. , Navroze Mody murdered in hate crime by Dotbusters in New Jersey. , SFSU Students Strike for Ethnic Studies Program, and 21 more...
Created by SAALTimeline on Aug 2, 2010
Last updated: 09/30/10 at 12:16 PM
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Congress debates legislation to reform the flawed immigration system. -SAALT offers testimony at Congressional Hearing for Comprehensive Immigration Reform -Congress does not pass comprehensive immigration reform legislation.
August 2006- Former Virginia Senator George Allen makes the following comment, which is aimed at a 20-year-old South Asian staffer working for his opponent: â€śLetâ€™s give a woarm welcome to Macaca, hereâ€¦Welcome to America and the real world of Virginiaâ€ť. â€˘ Macaca is a racial slur
The Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) launches Operation Meth Merchant which targets Indian convenience storeowners and clerks in northwest Georgia. Of the 49 individuals apprehended in the sting operation, 44 are Indian immigrants
Immigration statistics show that Indians are the fastest growing undocumented population in the United States
Piyush Bobby Jindal becomes second South Asian American member of Congress. Many South Asians are elected to state office, including Swati Dandekar (Iowa) and Nicky Randhawa Haley (South Carolina)
FBI reports that after the September 11th attacks, reports of violence against Muslims rose by 1600%. Nineteen people are murdered in hate violence in the US related to 9/11
2002- Special Registration program requires men and boys, ages 16 and older, from 25 countries (24 of which are predominantly Muslim countries, including Pakistan and Bangladesh), to report to their local immigration office for fingerprinting and interrogation. â€˘ Over 83,000 people registered throughout the country, none of whom were charged with any terrorist-related activity. â€˘ About 13,000 people (35% of whom are of Pakistani descent) are placed in deportation proceedings. Over 2,000 people are deported.
The Department of Justice reports on the results of its voluntary interrogations with 5,000 Arab/Muslim men. Of the 2,261 men who were actually interviewed, none were charged with crimes related to the September 11, 2001 attacks.
In the week following 9/11 there were 645 reports of bias incidents perceived to be aimed at persons of Middle Eastern and South Asian descent. â€˘ South Asians Balbir Singh Sodhi of Arizona, Waqar Hasan of Texas, and Vasudev Patel of Texas were all killed in post-9/11 hate crimes. â€˘ Harassment and threats are most common, making up more than two-thirds of all reported incidents.
U.S. government (FBI and INS) detains without charges about 1,100 individuals with supposed links to terrorist activities. Many are denied access to counsel and undergo secret hearings. â€˘ Their countries of origin: 1. Pakistan (33%) 6. India â€˘ By February 2002, 327 individuals remain in custodyâ€”the remainder are deported or released after days in detention centers
Balbar Singh Sodhi - Balbir Singh Sodhi (1949â€“September 15, 2001) was a Mesa, Arizona, gas station owner who was murdered in the aftermath of the September 11, 2001 attacks. He made headlines because he was the first of several cases across the United Statesthat were reported to the police as acts of retaliation for the terrorist attacks. According to family members, Singh Sodhi had been distraught because of the terrorist attacks.
Attacks against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon
U.S. Federal Court finds Lakireddy Bali Reddy guilty on counts of bringing undocumented immigrants to the U.S. for immoral sexual purposes. â€˘ His sentence of 97 months in jail was reinstated in 2006, which was a huge success in the fight against human trafficking.
These computer engineers were arrested for allegedly working at unauthorized site without appropriate paperwork or status. 23 of the programmers were threatened with deportation. The charges were eventually dropped as the programmers were later found to have had the proper visas.
Between 2000 and 2006 421,006 Indian immigrants were admitted to the United States, up from 352,278 during the 1990â€“1999 period. According to the US census, the overall growth rate for Indians from 1990 to 2000 was 105.87 percent. The average growth rate for the whole of USA was only 7.6 percent.
Incidents such as this were a severe blow to the Indian immigrant community and jarred it into taking political action seriously. While the violence seemed to be aimed at the Hindu community, where the wearing of the bindi is most common, it is clear that the animosity felt by the Dot Busters was primarily racial, aimed indiscriminately at South Asian immigrants. A group called Indian Youth Against Racism (IYAR) based at Columbia University documented instances of violence against Indians in New Jersey and helped implement a series of educational programs on South Asian cultures for students and faculty at a Jersey City high school. The group also helped get a bill passed in the New Jersey legislature that raised the mandatory penalties for "bias crimes."
Students at San Francisco State University go on strike to demand establishment of an Ethnic Studies program.
Indians along with other Asians, have one of the highest educational qualifications of all ethnic groups in the US. Almost 67% of all Indians have a bachelorâ€™s or high degree (compared to 28% nationally and 44% average for all Asian American groups). Almost 40% of all Indians in the United States have a masterâ€™s, doctorate or other professional degree, which is five times the national average. Thomas Friedman in his recent book, The World is Flat explains this trend in terms of brain drain, whereby the best and brightest elements in India emigrate to the US in order to seek better financial opportunities
Dailp Singh Saund, an Indian American from Imperial Valley, California, is elected to Congress. Video: Interview with Judge Saund on his life and election
The Immigration and Nationality Act triggers the second wave of South Asian immigration, which primarily includes scientists, engineers and doctors.
The McCarran-Walter Immigration and Nationality Act goes into effect, repealing the National Origins Act of 1924 and allowing immigration quotas to Japan and other Asian countries. This Act gives the rights of naturalization and eventual citizenship for Asians not born in the United States and sets a quota of 105 immigrants per year for each Asian country
President Truman signs the Luce-Cellar Bil which grants right of naturalization and small immigration quotas to Asian Indians and Filipinos, including a national quota of 100 for immigrants from India
President Calvin Coolidge signs into law the Immigration Act of 1924, also known as the Quota Immigration or National Origins Act. It excludes the immigration of all Asian laborers, except from the Philippines, which was by then a U.S. territory.
US v. Bhagat Singh Thind. US Supreme Court declares Asian Indians ineligible for naturalized citizenship because while Asian Indians might not "Caucasians," they are not "white". Bhagat Singh Thind applies for naturalization, but the U.S. vs. Bhagat Singh Thind decision officially bars Asian Indians as well as other Asians from citizenship.
Congress passes the Cable Act, which revokes the U.S. citizenship of any woman citizen marrying an alien ineligible for U.S. citizenship. The law is predominantly aimed at American-born Asian women marrying immigrants
Over 3,000 Indians return to their homeland due to xenophobic pressures.
Alien land laws in states prohibit the transfer and ownership of land to non-citizens; Indians owned over 120,000 acres in CA.
Immigrant Act of 1917 also known as the Asiatic Barred Zone Act defines a geographic "barred zone" (including what is now South Asia) from which no immigrants can come visit the US.
Photo: President Johnson Signing the Act
Komagatu Maru, a Japanese streamliner carrying 376 passengers from Punjab, India was not allowed to land in Canada and forced to return to India.
Asian Indians in California and Canada establish the revolutionary Ghadar Party, also known as the Pacific Coast Hindustani Association. The Ghadar Party's primarily aimed to liberate India from British rule.
The California legislature passes the Alien Land Act, and it is signed into law. According to the statute, a person ineligible for U.S. citizenship is forbidden to purchase land for agricultural purposes, and may lease property for no more than three years. Similar laws are adopted in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, Arizona, New Mexico, Nebraska, Texas, Kansas, Louisiana, Missouri, and Minnesota.
On more about the laws:
Sikhs build Khalsa Diwan in Stockton, CA - the first gurudwara in the United States.
By establishing the Khalsa Diwan in California in 1911, Sikhs in America were taking the first step towards gaining an independent identity. The Khalsa Diwan was a gurudwara, or place of religious observation for Sikhs. The temple also served as a community center for Sikhs as well. With growing numbers of Sikhs (and other immigrants) flooding into California, the Sikh community was fractured, unable to congregate. The need for a communal place of worship revealed not just the practical intentions behind constructing a temple, but the social and spiritual as well.
Canada curbs Asian Indian immigrants by denying entry to immigrants who have not come by "continuous journey" from their homelands. In 1914, Komagatu Maru, a Japanese streamliner carrying 376 passengers from Punjab, India, was not allowed to land in Canada and was forced to return to India. Chief of Bureau of Naturalization actively opposed the granting of naturalization to "Hindoos or East Indians."
Asian Exclusion League opposes immigration from Asia and leads to often violent "Anti-Hindu" riots in Washington, California, and Oregon in order to "help drive out the cheap labor".
Punjabi Sikhs begin to enter British Columbia.
The Chinese Exclusion Act is the first significant law restricting immigration into the United States. This act denies citizenship for Chinese immigrants and suspends Chinese labor immigration to the U.S.
More than 500,000 Asian Indians are brought to British Guyana, the West Indies and various French colonies, marking the beginning of the global trend toward "coolie" labor (similar to indentured servitude).