The widow of an Indian American allegedly killed by a man who shouted “get out of my country” is asking friends and well-wishers to add her plea for tolerance to their New Year resolutions.
Earlier this year, participating on a panel on hate crimes, she talked about the tremendous love and support she received after her husband’s death. “This is what America stands for,” she said according to KCUR. “We are one people. We might be different cultures or races or ethnicities, but we should put energy into embracing our differences.”
She says that almost immediately “The same night I lost Srinivas, I knew,” Dumala said in a call from Kansas last September, reports Wired. Though the Kuchibhotlas had been waiting for permanent residency for seven years, she was dependent on her husband’s H-1B visa to stay in the U.S. When he was killed, her immigration status was lost and she became vulnerable to deportation.
After her husband’s funeral, the company that she works for applied for the H-1B visa for her. For the time being, she’s on a 12-month work authorization while she waits for her visa to be approved.
The U.S. allots 120,000 H-1B visas each year, but no country can receive more than 7 percent of the prized visas. So, even if she does get the visa, she would have to get to the back of the line for workers from India, a wait that could be decades since India uses its full quota of skills-based visas every year.
Dumala’s congressman spoke up for her visa application. “We are not going to deport the widow of the victim of a hate crime,” said Rep. Kevin Yoder, R-Kansas, in The Kansas City Star.
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