President Donald Trump will deliver the annual State of the Union address on Tuesday, and Rep. Kevin Yoder (R-Kan.) is bringing Sunayana Dumala, widow of Srinivas Kuchibhotla, who was killed in a hate crime.
He tweeted that each year, he has the “privilege” of inviting one person to the speech and selected Dumala. Yoder added that he chose her as “recognition for her tireless efforts to promote peace.”
I asked Sunayana to be my guest as a recognition for her tireless efforts to promote peace, and as a message to the Indian community that the United States is a nation of immigrants and they are welcome here.
— Rep. Kevin Yoder (@RepKevinYoder) January 27, 2018
The congressman added that her being his guest also sends “a message to the Indian community that the United States is a nation of immigrants and they are welcome here.”
In response to the invitation, the India Association of Kansas City wrote him a letter, which said it “strengthens our belief and confidence in the American system and its Constitution where everyone is respected, loved and is welcome.”
Dumala wrote in an article for The Kansas City Star that when her husband was shot, she saw the worst in America, but she has since seen its best.
“I still believe America is the land of dreams,” she wrote.
According to The Hill, the suspected shooter, Adam Purinton shouted, “Get out of my country” and various ethnic slurs before he shot Kuchibhotla and his friend, Alok Madasani.
He was later indicted for hate crimes, and the White House condemned the shooting as “racially motivated hatred.”
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