A6COVer stOr Y India Abroad September 25, 2015
As the anti-immigrant rhetoric of GOP Presidential candidates refuses to die down, more and more
Republicans from the community acknowledge the damage it is causing.
One of the party’s biggest desi fundraisers tells Aziz Haniffa, ‘I can tell you unambiguously that if the
Republicans nominate Donald Trump, I am going to change my affiliation.’
Two of the biggest heavies among Indian American fundraisers for the GOP — Dr Zach P Zachariah of Fort lauderdale, Florida, and Armeane Choksi of Washington, DC — are deeply concerned over the Republican Presidential candi- dates’ incendiary and hate-filled rhetoric about immigrants. They acknowledged
that it could put paid to the chances of their party regaining
the White House in 2016.
These attacks and rhetoric — on building a wall, deporting
millions, denying birthright citizenship — have not been the
exclusive preserve of real-estate mogul Donald Trump.
Former Florida Governor Jeb Bush has spoken derogatorily
of ‘anchor babies’ and refused to walk it back. louisiana
Governor Bobby Jindal has attacked birthright citizenship.
And New Jersey Governor Chris Christie jumped on the
bandwagon by wanting to monitor migrants like Fedex packages.
Choksi, a former executive vice president of the World
Bank, a leading venture capitalist, director of Copia Global,
and one of South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley’s leading
fundraisers, said he was concerned that Trump’s narrative on
immigration had been picked up by the other GOP candi-
dates, including Bush, who used the derogatory term ‘anchor
babies,’ and Jindal, whose mother was six months pregnant
with him when she came to the US, calling for an end to
“I am worried, very worried,” he said, “In fact, I was at a
GOP conference recently where a whole bunch of US
Senators and Congressmen were there. I turned around and
told them that all of you come across as anti-immigrant. I told
them that you come across as racist. I told them that you are
not that, but you all can’t seem to separate legal immigration
from illegal immigration.’”
He said he told those lawmakers: ‘I am telling you this as an
Indian American immigrant who is a conservative…
Immigrant rights protestors interrupt Republican presidential candidate new Jersey Governor chris christie while he speaks at the Iowa State Fair in Des moines last month. Scott ol Son/Getty ImaGeS