WASHINGTON: (APP) A 32-year-old Indian youth was fatally shot and two others sustained injuries after a man opened fire on them in the state of Kansas in what was suspected to be a possible hate crime, as the new Trump administration pushed forward with its immigration reforms to protect American jobs.
The federal law enforcement officials were investigating whether the crime was "bias motivated" amid reports that the 51-year-old-man Adam W. Purinton shouted "get out of my country" to the three Indian boys before opening fire on them. One of the Indian men, Srinivas Kuchibhotla, 32, died in the hospital later from his gunshot wounds.
The latest incident of violence against immigrant comes amid an heightened campaign by President Trump to toughen immigration reforms and deport the illegal aliens.
Trump rode to victory in the November Presidential election on promises that he would kick out millions of undocumented immigrants and make it difficult for foreigners to come to the United States on work permit, something he says has deprived Americans the jobs.
India is likely to be the most hard hit by the toughening of rules on the work permits as a large number of IT jobs in the United States are done by Indians working on H-1 business visas.
The Kansas chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations, the biggest Muslim advocacy group, demanded to charge the shooter with hate crime to send a strong message that violence targeting religious or ethnic minorities will not be tolerated.
President Trump also issued an executive order in January to ban people from seven Muslim countries to enter the United States as part of efforts to counter terrorism. The move has drawn wide-spread condemnation and several States have filed appeal against it. The ban is currently on hold by a federal court order, but President Trump said a new executive order will soon be introduced.
Many State governments have said that they would defy the order and will provide shelter to undocumented aliens in the so-called "sanctuaries cities".
In a show of such a defiance, the Governor of Connecticut has directed police chiefs across the state to avoid taking any special action against undocumented immigrants.
A White House spokesman on Thursday criticized the governor's order, saying that the federal government expects lawmakers and law enforcement agencies to follow and adhere to the law as passed by the appropriate level of government.
"So, it's obviously concerning. I think, and it's troubling that that's the message that he would send to his people and to other governors," Sean Spicer, the White House spokesman told a briefing on Thursday.