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As a Member of Congress who represents a large population of Americans of Indian descent, I am deeply troubled by the outrageous remarks aimed at the winner of the 2013 Miss America Pageant and a fellow New Yorker, Nina Davuluri.

Davuluri embodies the American Dream—the daughter of immigrants who graduated from a prestigious university and plans to pursue a medical degree. She is American in the truest sense, and the fact that this would be questioned is despicable.

Embracing diversity is an American value, and one that I have always cherished. I am the product of grandparents who fled Russia due to persecution and found an accepting home here in America. I have spent my life honoring their memory by fighting against hatred, bigotry and persecution. When I heard of the vitriol being directed toward Davuluri, I felt compelled to respond.

I join with the voices of the many Americans who have cried out against these hateful remarks. And I will continue to work in Congress to fight against hatred.


Congressmember Steve Israel



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