Virginia Attorney General vows to mitigate challenges faced by Indian-Americans

Participants at the Northern Virginia Indian-American Round-Table on February 16, 2023, at the Tamarind Restaurant in Sterling, Virginia. PHOTO: @JasonMiyaresVA/twitter

Sterling, Virginia: At the Northern Virginia Indian-American Round-Table, Virginia Attorney General Jason Miyares promised to mitigate challenges faced by the Indian-American community. He was speaking at the meeting organized by the community to discuss issues on public safety, immigration, technology, education, and small businesses at the Tamarind Restaurant on February 16, 2023.

During the event, Miyares praised community members for their hard work, and noted that as a child of an immigrant, he identifies with the issues raised and thereby a supporter of meritocracy, legal immigration, and an inclusive society.

Miyares underscored that public safety in schools and districts are important priorities in Governor Glenn Youngkin’s administration, and that he will continue to work on educating the public and immigrants on civil liberties. He told the gathering that he looks forward to another town hall event to discuss civil rights and other issues critical to the community. Miyares tweeted after the event, “It was great to be in Sterling today for a discussion with members of the Indian-American community. This fast-growing community is an important part of our Virginia family.”

The event was moderated by Srilekha Palle, board member of the American Hindu Coalition, and Ram Venkatachalam, chairman of the Transit Advisory Board of Loudoun County.

Palle who initiated the discussion highlighted the accomplishments of Indian Americans as a shining example of the entrepreneurial spirit that is central to being American. “Despite the socioeconomic success, Indian Americans continue to face challenges particularly in areas such as immigration, education, small business over regulations, bureaucracy, and workplace advancement,” Palle said.

Suparna Dutta, Youngkin’s nominee for VA Board of Education, whose name was recently removed by the Democrat-led VA Senate from the Board appointments, spoke about the need for parental involvement in their kids’ education and advocacy to abolish divisive indoctrination in schools. Dutta said, “Several parents agreed that meritocracy should be prioritized, and Virginia schools and colleges have focused on race-based versus merit-based admissions thus causing standards to deteriorate rapidly.”

Santosh Somi Reddy, founder of the Somireddy Law group, raised examples of immigration issues faced by the children of immigrants in obtaining visas and permanent residency. He underscored the need to streamline naturalization process while pointing out challenges with visa quota limits causing stagnation with recruitment of STEM talent.

While emphasizing that the per-country visit limit should be revisited, Somi Reddy said, “This regulation was passed in 1990 when things were completely different. We need to update the immigration regulations from time to time to attract and retain the talent pool from across the globe. There is a need to increase the H-1B cap number to meet the current demand for IT professionals, engineers, and doctors to address huge visa backlogs.”

Pragyay Choksi, a technology entrepreneur, spoke about workplace advancement issues and the prevalent “WOKE ideology” in the name of diversity, equity, and inclusion (DEI) at workplaces. According to him, DEI initiatives are increasingly common in the corporate world but have negatively affected the community. These include being considered “White Adjacent,” stereotyping, and microaggressions resulting in demoralization, and exclusion from promotions and hiring practices.

“Indian Americans feel these programs do not address the unique challenges they face in the workplace. We request the office of AG Miyares to provide support in educating the local community on civil rights and ways to seek help when they are being violated,” Choksi added.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here