South Asian Sisters

South Asian Sisters is a diverse collective of progressive South Asian women dedicated to empowering our community to resist all forms of oppression through art, dialogue, conscious alliances, and grassroots political action. We are dedicated to organizing “Yoni ki Baat,” an annual performance that encourages women to speak out against violence and end the stigma around our bodies and our sexualities.

Sunday, April 09, 2006

South Asian Organizations' Statement on Immigration Reform

In light of the statement below, we urge everyone to attend an April 10 event.



For More Information:

Deepa Iyer, SAALT (National) 301-589-0389

Amardeep Singh, Sikh Coalition (NYC) 212-655-3095

Hamid Khan, South Asian Network (Los Angeles) 562-403-0488

For a Full List of Organizations, Please See Below.

As representatives of organizations that serve South Asians across the United States – from empowering women, workers and youth to protecting the civil rights and liberties of ethnic and religious minorities – we see firsthand the impact of the immigration system on our community. As Congress prepares to pass the broadest immigration reform law in decades, we urge lawmakers to adopt sensible and humane solutions to fix the broken immigration system in the United States.

The South Asian community is predominantly foreign-born, with individuals tracing their backgrounds to Bangladesh, Bhutan, India, Nepal, Pakistan, Sri Lanka and the diaspora, including the Caribbean, Africa and Europe. Any immigration law passed by Congress will undoubtedly affect the entire community as well as future immigrants.

Our organizations have already witnessed the impact of anti-immigrant sentiment, xenophobia and ill-conceived policies implemented by federal, state and local law enforcement on the South Asian community. We assist low-wage workers who work in the domestic service, restaurant and retail industries and often face difficult conditions and exploitation in the workplace. We advocate on behalf of survivors of domestic violence who are in need of assistance from social workers, lawyers and counselors. We hear from South Asians who have been waiting for years to be reunited with their family members due to the enormous backlog of visa applications. And we provide services to South Asian youth, many of whom are undocumented and are denied avenues to citizenship and higher education.

Congress has an opportunity now to identify humane and sensible measures to address many of these situations. However, the House of Representatives disappointed immigrants in December of last year by passing a bill that would criminalize those with undocumented status and would make the provision of services to undocumented immigrants a violation of the law in some contexts.

Now, it is the Senate’s turn to pass a bill on immigration issues. Two bills are before the Senate right now – one that passed the Judiciary Committee, and another introduced by Majority Leader Senator Frist. Both contain harsh enforcement provisions which would take a significant toll on immigrant communities around the country.

While the Senate bill that passed the Judiciary Committee contains some positive provisions - including the legalization of over 11 million undocumented immigrants in the US and the expansion of educational and vocational opportunities for young people with undocumented status – its harsh stance towards enforcement of immigration law undercuts many of the highlights. These enforcement provisions would allow non-citizens to be indefinitely detained; would criminalize minor offenses such as the failure to file a change of address form; and would give local police the authority to enforce complex immigration laws locally, paving the way for mistakes, profiling, and distrust.

Legislation that does not balance the civil rights of immigrants will lead to separated families, isolation and fear, and distrust of law enforcement and government officials. We believe that our country’s immigration policies must reflect fundamental civil and human rights principles, which include:

· Establishing a path to permanent residency and citizenship for undocumented immigrants

· Opposing criminalization of undocumented status and expansion of grounds for indefinite detention.

· Reducing the visa backlog by eliminating visa caps and expediting the processing of applications

· Promoting citizenship and civic participation

Our organizations come together from Atlanta, Chicago, Los Angeles, New Jersey, San Francisco, New York, and Washington, DC to urge lawmakers to pass legislation that embraces these principles. We also make this statement today to urge our community members to make their voices heard to lawmakers about the urgency for fair immigration reform.


Adhikaar (New York City)

Andolan (New York City)

Alliance of South Asians Taking Action (San Francisco)

Coney Island Avenue Project (New York City)

Desist (San Francisco)

Desis Rising Up and Moving (New York City)

Friends of South Asia (San Francisco)

Manavi (New Jersey)

Narika (San Francisco)

Raksha (Atlanta)

Sakhi for South Asian Women (New York City)

Sikh Coalition (New York City)

South Asian American Leaders of Tomorrow (Washington DC area)

South Asian Progressive Action Collective (Chicago)

South Asian Sisters (San Francisco)

South Asian Network (Los Angeles)

South Asian Youth Action (New York City)


  • At 2:27 PM, Blogger NetSAP said…

    Hey South Asian Sisters!!
    Come see your fellow femmes at an amazing event which will show case their talents and abilities!!

    NetSAP DC invites you to attend Fusion 2007 - a cultural event featuring an amazing array of performances of South Asian music and dance. Have you ever seen Odissi set to Latin music, a dueling tabla and sitar player, or Bharatanatyam set to Celtic music, in the same show as Bollywood-style performances? That is just a taste of what you can expect from Fusion 2007 - NetSAP-DC's annual cultural program showcasing the best and brightest in the South Asian performing arts community.

    This year's event will be held at the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts on September 29, 2007 at 7:00pm. For details about this year's event, please visit .

    This is an outstanding event with a diverse lineup representing almost every style of South Asian music and dance. Discounted tickets for NetSAP members are only $25.00 (regular price $35.00) and can be purchased by visiting the following link:

    Buy your ticket today! Seating is limited. We look forward to seeing you there...

    DATE: September 29, 2007

    TIME: 7:00pm

    LOCATION: The John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts

    The Terrace Theater

    2700 F Street, NW

    Washington, DC 20566

    COST: $25.00 for NetSAP Members; $35.00 for Non-Members

    PHONE: 202-467-4600





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