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United Sikhs Sikh Leaders Meet US Lawmakers, Raise Issues Of Concern

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Sikh leaders meet US lawmakers, raise issues of concern

Sikh leaders meet US lawmakers, raise issues of concern

Sikh leaders met US lawmakers during a week-long summit here and sought meaningful solutions to the issues of concerns to the community like discriminatory practices, hate crimes and the right to wear turban.

The 2010 Sikh Summit was organized by UNITED SIKHS as part of their ongoing advocacy projects to protect Sikh civil and human rights.

Community leaders and organizations from across the country gathered on the Capitol Hill and spoke on the issues of concern to Senators, Congress persons and members of government think-tanks.

Prominent among the issues discussed were a separate count of Sikhs in the census, the safety of Sikhs in Pakistan, and the right to wear turban in France and Belgium, misidentification and watch-list issues, employment discrimination, and photo-identification issues.

"Sikh delegations were warmly received by representatives who lent an attentive ear to the concerns of the Sikh American community, and offered their support for issues such as discriminatory practices during air travel, injustices faced in form of xenophobia like hate crimes, bullying in schools etc, and procuring a separate code for Sikhs in future Census and American Community Surveys," a statement said.

Issues related to Transportation Security Administration (TSA) like Sikhs being singled out for additional screening or incorrectly detained due to mistaken identity, watch-list issues and lack of follow up on redress procedures gained considerable support among lawmakers, the
United Sikh said.

Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren sympathized with the plight of Sikhs discriminated at airports and detained during international travel.

Congressman John Garamendi agreed that there is a training issue, and lack of consistency in how these concerns are handled across airports.

Senator Kirsten Gillibrand's office and Senator Joe Lieberman shared the concern about arbitrary targeting of Sikhs in airports and lack of due process on TRIP complaints, and have offered assistance in furthering dialogue with TSA and Department of Homeland Security (DHS).
 

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