In a bid to represent people of Indian and other ancestries living in the United States, a new organization has been formed based in the Tri-tate area, which encompasses citizens and non-citizens.
The Republican Immigrant Organization, RIO for short, was founded on April 7, by Mathew Cherian, a Republican and current president of the East Brunswick Republican Club. It includes various chapters covering different immigrant communities, such as Chinese and Latin Americans, apart from Indian-origin immigrants, so a RIO India, RIO China, and RIO Latin America, are already in existence, even if small at this juncture, Cherian said.
This April 26, RIO held its first event 20 days after being founded, at Akbar Restaurant, Edison, N.J. where some 35 supporters gathered to kick off the fledgling organization, by celebrating the birthday of First Lady Melania Trump.
“We believe the Number One legal immigrant in the United States is Melania Trump,” Cherian told Desi Talk.
A large white cake inscribed with ‘Happy Birthday First Lady Melania Trump’ and three candles, was cut by one of the RIO members, Shruti Malhotra.
New Jersey State Senator Sam Thompson is the patron of RIO, Cherian said, adding, “He has been a great help to the immigrant community and RIO.”
Thompson was bestowed RIO’s first Yi Sun-Shin Award, named after a renowned Korean naval commander.
“In the future RIO will offer this award to Republican elected officials who won elections in heavily Democratic constituencies,” Cherian said, adding that Mayor Kennedy O’Brien of Sayreville, N.J. is slated to be a future recipient of this award. “Mayor O’Brien has been elected 5 times as mayor in a town where the ratio of Democrats to Republican is 3:1,” Cherian said.
The organization, which plans to hold “interesting” events in the future, has sent 135 birthday greeting cards to the First Lady. Some cards were signed by multiple people and some members sent cards directly to WH. Tabulating from those numbers, Cherian said, RIO’s total participation is about 150 -155 people.
Not only are citizens and non-citizens invited to participate and become members of RIO, even visitors to this country are welcome, Cherian said.