Sikh-Americans protest detainment of Punjabi migrants seeking asylum

The Fresno BeeApril 23, 2014 

A caravan of collegiate Sikh-Americans will leave Fresno on Friday en route to El Paso, Texas, protesting the detainment of 37 Punjabi migrants on hunger strike who are seeking political asylum.

The 12 students will hold seven public events at places of worship in California and Arizona before meeting the detainees from India at El Paso's Immigration and Customs Enforcement Processing Center. The asylum-seekers have been held since June 2013.

The group of students hope to publicize the issue and represent a new wave of Sikh-American youth becoming politically engaged.

"Immigration is one of the most important issues facing our nation," said Jasdeep Sign, one of the caravan participants. "We need to have a policy for asylum-seekers that is in line with the principles we stand for."

Rahuldeep Singh, a California Lutheran University professor accompanying the students, said "we are witnessing a monumental shift in the politicization of a new generation of Asian-Americans."

"Sikh-American youth are becoming engaged and bringing to light new voices on immigration and other issues of social issues," Singh said.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6679 or npearl@fresnobee.com.

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