Not withstanding that Donald Trump, the Republican Party’s leading contender in the Primaries had said that Mexicans are rapists and drug dealers, suggested a temporary ban on Muslims entering the United States and called for the deportation of the more than 11 million undocumented immigrants in the country, there are some immigrants supporting him for reasons that are “intensely personal and, not surprisingly, are often aligned with their politics back home.”
As the entire nation is looking upto New York for the upcoming crucial Primaries on April 19th, The New York Times reports that “some small groups of immigrants have come forward to support him.” A group of Latino Republicans in Rockland County is planning to endorse him, and some older Indian-American professionals and young Hindus in the region already have.
Quoting a recent informal poll conducted by a Russian-language radio station in New York City, the Times wrote that more than 80 percent of 5,000 callers preferred Trump, the Republican front-runner, to Hillary Clinton, the Democratic Party’s likely nominee.
Anand Ahuja, a lawyer in his mid-60s on Long Island, who was a founder of Indian-Americans for Trump 2016, a political action committee, has his own reasons to support Trump. Ahuja visited the United States in his 20s on a tourist visa from India, is reported to have said that “friends were marrying for green cards. They stayed and prospered, but he returned to India and waited nine years to immigrate legally.”
Ahuja is said to have praised Trump for wanting to stop immigrants from entering the country illegally. “You should not reward people who have broken the law,” he said. “You follow the law, you get punished. That’s why I like Donald Trump when he says, ‘Let’s build a wall.” He added, “I believe anybody who came in this country illegally should be deported.” Ahuja, however, added that showing support for Trump also invites backlash and criticism. “You become a subject of mockery and fun and criticism,” Ahuja said, adding that he faced a lot of flak on social media for supporting Trump.
Adity Sharma, 30, a law student, and one of about 20 members of Hindus for Trump, a Facebook group that occasionally meets in cafes in Brooklyn, was quoted in the report that her Indian-American family supported Hillary Clinton. “To each his own,” she said, adding of Trump: “He’s a strong candidate, he’s different than the others. By him not being so politically correct, it does make people sit up and listen.” She and the group’s other members believe that current American policy is too friendly toward Pakistan and that Trump could change that to benefit India. They also approve of Trump’s proposed ban on Muslim refugees.
Raju Bathija, 56, another member of the group, said she no longer trusted Mrs. Clinton or her foreign policy in India. But more than 15 years ago she said she attended a fund-raiser for Mrs. Clinton’s Senate race, as a member of the Indo-American Democratic Party. Now, she supports Trump, because, “You go where your bread is buttered,” Ms. Bathija said.
However, these are individuals and their personal views. It looks to be seen if the larger community will go behind the billionaire turned politician. Devesh Kapur, director of the Center for the Advanced Study of India at the University of Pennsylvania, was quoted in the report in The Times as saying that Ahuja’s group was an outlier in an Indian diaspora that had overwhelmingly voted for Democrats. “It has no reflection of representativeness by a long, long shot,” said Mr. Kapur, who is an author of a coming book about Indian immigrants’ success in the United States. “Whether it’s Sikhs for Trump, Hindus for Trump, in each of them you would say: ‘Really? How can that be?’ It’s a really tiny fraction. They represent themselves, not all Sikhs.”