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Watch: Indian-American Congresswoman puts down man ranting about immigrants

A caller from Indian ranted about “illegal aliens” and their undocumented children who should be “deported just like their parents”.

world Updated: Sep 15, 2017 13:52 IST
HT Correspondent
Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) speaks at a press conference about a House resolution, at  the Capitol Hill in Washington.
Pramila Jayapal (D-WA) speaks at a press conference about a House resolution, at the Capitol Hill in Washington.(Reuters File Photo)

America’s first Indian-American Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal calmly responded to a caller on a live television debate when he went on a rant about immigrants stealing American jobs.

John, who is from Indiana and gave only his first name, called on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal programme last week and spoke about “illegal aliens” and their undocumented children who should be “deported just like their parents”.

Jayapal, a Democrat from Washington, intently listened to him and asked him not to blame the immigrants: “John, it sounds like you are in a lot of economic pain and that is true across the country... I’ll tell you to blame immigrants is completely wrong and here’s why.”

The Congresswoman then told John to look at the big corporations that aren’t paying enough taxes, Jayapal said.

A video of Jayapal’s response has been shared more than 2,000 times on Facebook, with commentators saying she is a ‘strong woman’. Some of the 131 users who commented on the video also asked American citizens to remember their history of immigration. Other dissenters, however, said Jayapal’s claim of corporations not paying enough taxes was flawed while a few told her to return to India.

“There’s a small minority that’s trying to divide the country and to those people, I would just say you’re wrong. We have always been and will always be a great force for good,” Jayapal can be seen saying in the video.

Jayapal told the C-SPAN host after the call ended that she has been threatened with lynching but nothing has stopped her from believing the best, a Washington Post article said.

Jayapal came to the US when she was 16 when her parents gave her all of their money --$5,000 -- to study at Georgetown University, the Post said. It took the Democrat 17 years to get US citizenship after she married an American.

Jayapal is known to champion immigration rights and became the first Indian-American woman elected to the US Congress in November last year. She found the NGO ‘OneAmerica’ after the September 11 terror attacks in 2001 in America. Other than immigration, Jayapal advocates for universal healthcare in the US and protection of LGBTQ rights.

US President Donald Trump said on Thursday said he was working with Democrats to find a solution to the fate of 800,000 immigrants brought to the United States illegally as children, saying he was “fairly close” to clinching a deal.

Trump had earlier this month ordered the shutting down of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) programme, which prevents the deportation of undocumented immigrants brought to the US as children. End the Dreamers programme could impact 8,000 people of Indian descent.