Washington: Indian-American Kamala Harris, who scripted history by winning a Senate seat, has said she would open a battlefront against President-elect Donald Trump’s anti-immigration policies, saying “we must reject racism and xenophobia in our politics”.
“I recognise that Tuesday’s election has made millions of people in this country feel powerless and afraid of what is to come,” Harris, 52, said in an email sent to her supporters launching a signature campaign against Trump’s policies on immigrants.
Harris, the first Indian-American elected to the Senate from California, described Trump’s immigration policies like mass deportations and wall along the US-Mexico border as “absolutely unrealistic” at a news conference in California.
A two-term Attorney General of California, she would be sworn in as US Senator on January 3.
“Our diverse movement and the responsibility the people have granted me in this office comes into play. We have the power to give a voice to the voiceless in Washington as we advance an agenda rooted in justice and equality, she said.
“It is no secret that there exists two divergent directions for our country to take on immigration reform and the treatment of our immigrant communities, both documented and undocumented.
“One side believes it is okay to demagogue immigrants, has proposed unrealistic plans to build a wall, and is promising to break up families by deporting millions of people. The other side believes in respect, justice, dignity and equality as part of an approach to bring millions of people out of the shadows,” she said.
Harris said she want every immigrant family in this country as well as the new Trump administration to know exactly where she stands on immigration reform.
“We must reject racism and xenophobia in our politics as we work to protect our immigrants through real reforms. Right now is a time to bring people together. To unite our country around the common values and ideals that actually makes us great. Demagoguing or outright attacking communities of colour is not a real plan, it is a recipe for disaster.
“What we must do is rededicate ourselves to the fight for who we are and build a coalition that is ready to join that fight because we are stronger when we are inclusive,” Harris, whom President Barack Obama had described as fearless, said.
Harris has already talked with her future Democratic colleagues about “banding together” to protect immigrants from what she described as the draconian immigration proposals of the President-elect, Los Angeles Times reported.
“I intend to fight for a state that has the largest number of immigrants, both documented and undocumented. We must bring them justice and dignity and fairness through comprehensive immigration reform. I intend to fight for ‘Black Lives Matter’ and to ensure truth, transparency and trust in our criminal justice system and to fight for a woman’s access to healthcare and reproductive rights,” she added.