“A leader of the resistance” – Pramila Jayapal, a fighter and a winner

The anti-immigrant, hate-driven nature of the present United States administration is transforming to be deadly for the Indian American community.Racism and xenophobia have been experienced by this community, even as they remain silent and harmless to the country.

In such a society, making a peaceful living for an Indian becomes near to impossible.However, Pramila Jayapal, an Indian American politician and activist from the State of Washington, has beaten the odds. 52-years-old, Ms. Jayapal currently serves as the U.S. Representative for Washington’s 7th congressional district, which encompasses most of Seattle as well as outlying parts of King County. She has the enormous privilege of being the first Indian – American woman to serve in the United States House of Representatives.

She arrived from India at the age of 16 to earn her bachelor’s degree from Georgetown University, and an MBA from Northwestern University. She spent more than a dozen years to obtain her green card, which she finally did after getting married to an American. However, as fate must have decided, she lost her citizenship due to some inevitable circumstances during her pregnancy.

She had to start from scratch to regain her citizenship. She became determined. The process took her three years before she finally stood at the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services taking her oath of citizenship. Tears rolled down her cheek as she took in the mixed emotions of renouncing any allegiance to her birth country, and finally becoming a part of a new country.

She became an immigrant, civil and human rights advocate, then the first South Asian elected to the Washington State Legislature and the only woman of color in the Washington State Senate, and then was elected in 2016 to the United States Congress.

Currently, as President Trump has brought in difficult times for immigrants and harnessed fear amongst all non – American, Jayapal’s proposals to seed an agenda for progressive politicians to take to the country has given frustrated progressives the chance to fight back against the Trump administration. “The Nation”, a weekly magazine in the United States, has called Jayapal “a leader of resistance” and “a rising star in the Democratic Caucus.”

Pramila Jayapal believes that immigration is about more than just who comes in a country and is allowed to stay. It is about who we are as a country and what we are willing to stand up for.


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