Widow At Risk of Deportation Following Hate Crime Murder of Her Husband

Srinivas Kuchibhotla (right) and his wife Sunayana Dumala (left). (Photo credit: AP)

Earlier this year, I reported on the hate crime murder of 32-year-old Srinivas Kuchibhotla, an engineer shot and killed at a bar in Olathe, Kansas by a man who yelled “Get out of my country!” moments before pulling the trigger. The shooting left Kuchibhotla dead and his co-worker — with whom he was enjoying happy hour drinks — critically injured; a third bystander who attempted to stop the crime, was also hurt.

Afterwards, the killer — 51-year-old Adam Purinton — fled the scene of the crime and was later apprehended nearly 70 miles south at an Applebee’s, where Purinton had boasted of killing two Iranians. After he was arrested, Purinton faced federal hate crime charges; he currently awaits trial on those charges.

Heartbreakingly, Purinton didn’t just take the life of Srinivas Kuchibhotla that night in February; the shooting also placed Kuchibhotla’s widow — Sunayana Dumala — at risk of deportation. Dumala, who was born in India, worked as a developer for InTouch Solutions; however, her residency status was linked to her husband’s H-1B visa. When Kuchibhotla was murdered in February, Dumala’s residency permit was terminated and she became at risk of deportation.

Continue reading “Widow At Risk of Deportation Following Hate Crime Murder of Her Husband”

USC Student Endures Anti-Asian and Homophobic Slurs in Egging Episode

A cellphone image with the balcony of Cardinal Gardens, Rm F552 circled in red. (Photo Credit: Ivan Tsang / Facebook).
A cellphone image with the balcony of Cardinal Gardens, Rm F552 circled in red. (Photo Credit: Ivan Tsang / Facebook).

Just six months after University of Southern California’s student body president — who is Asian American — was victimized by a racial epithet, another incident of anti-Asian racism has rocked the campus. Yesterday, USC sophomore Ivan Tsang posted to his Facebook describing an ugly incident of racism he endured early Sunday morning. Tsang writes that while he was sitting by the outdoor fireplace of Cardinal Gardens — an on-campus townhouse-style housing complex — someone yelled a racist and homophobic phrase at him from an upper-level balcony, and tried to hit him repeatedly with eggs.

USC has already made headlines for being a potentially unsafe environment for international students from China. Last year, USC graduate student Xinran Ji was targeted for a brutal robbery because he was Chinese, and beaten to death. A year earlier, Chinese graduate students Ming Qu and Ying Wu were shot and killed in their parked car, sparking an outcry from the Chinese community. Against this context, the incident of racism described by Tsang is chilling.

Continue reading “USC Student Endures Anti-Asian and Homophobic Slurs in Egging Episode”

Arsonist Burns Nearly 40 Hindu Flags in Queens

queens-arsonist
A suspected arsonist is captured in surveillance video setting fire to a collection of Hindu flags in Queens.

New York Police Department officers are searching for a suspected arsonist in a Thanksgiving day attack on a local Queens-area home. Surveillance video footage captured a figure entering the front yard of the Queens home at 89th street and 80th avenue, and setting fire to nearly 40 Hindu prayer flags, leaving behind a pile of charred debris.

There is no word yet on motive, and specifically whether or not this was a targeted attack because the flags were religious objects of the Hindu faith. Nonetheless, South Asian Americans have increasingly become the target of hate crimes and other bias incidents since September 11, 2001, and increasing Islamophobic and xenophobic rhetoric has only heightened the danger for Muslim Americans and those (such as Sikh Americans and other South Asian Americans) whom racists mistake for Muslims. Indeed, last year another Queens-area Sikh man was the victim of vehicular assault in an anti-Muslim and anti-Sikh hate crime.

Continue reading “Arsonist Burns Nearly 40 Hindu Flags in Queens”

Murdered USC Grad Student Was Targeted Because He Was Chinese

USC graduate student Xinran Ji was murdered last year during a robbery attempt.
USC graduate student Xinran Ji was murdered last year during a robbery attempt.

Last July, 24-year-old USC graduate student in engineering, Xinran Ji, was walking home to his apartment after a late-night study session when he was brutally accosted by a group of unknown strangers just a few hundred feet off-campus, and beaten bloody with a baseball bat and a wrench in an attempted robbery. Ji survived the initial attack and stumbled to his apartment with multiple internal injuries, where his roommate found him dead in his bed the following morning.

Now, three teenagers —  Jonathan Del Carmen, 19; Alberto Ochoa, 17; and Alejandra Guerrero, 16 — are standing trial for murder. Two additional teenagers were also arrested in the incident, but one — 19-year-old Andrew Garcia — is currently awaiting a hearing to determine his mental competency, while the other unnamed teenaged girl is not being charged with Ji’s murder because officials say she was not involved in the attack; she was instead charged with robbery for a crime committed later in the night.

All four of Ji’s attackers confessed to the robbery and assault. Further, Andrew Garcia is quoted as saying that the teenagers targeted Ji for his race. Reports the New York Daily News:

Andrew Garcia, 19, told cops that he and four other friends saw the 24-year-old walking home alone on July 24. The group decided to mug him, he said.

“Because he was Chinese, he must have money,” Garcia told police.

Continue reading “Murdered USC Grad Student Was Targeted Because He Was Chinese”

San Jose woman beats 4yo child & father in alleged anti-Asian hate crime

Maria Garate, 20, has been arrested in San Jose has been charged with attempted murder and assault in an attack prosecutors say was motivated by anti-Asian hate. (Photo credit: San Jose Police Department)
Maria Garate, 20, has been charged with attempted murder and assault in an attack prosecutors say was motivated by anti-Asian hate. (Photo credit: San Jose Police Department)

Caught this in my news alerts this morning: Tuesday morning, a 4-year-old girl and her father were shopping along with the girl’s mother at a San Jose-area Walmart when Maria Garate, 20, allegedly approached them and hit the child over the head with a metal object believed to be either a wrench or a tire iron.

The girl’s father intervened when the woman tried to take a second swing at the child, and was hit instead.

Walmart security detained Garate, and she was later arrested and arraigned on Thursday afternoon, charged with one count of attempted murder with a deadly weapon and one count of assault; both charges have hate crime enhancements.

Police say that based on interviews with the suspect that they have evidence to conclude the attack was racially motivated.

Continue reading “San Jose woman beats 4yo child & father in alleged anti-Asian hate crime”