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Show tolerance for South Asians in Queens

Recently, there were some disturbing comments in the press from residents of Bellerose about whether South Asian immigrants and individuals of South Asian descent, who are relative newcomers to the neighborhood, are serving our country in the armed forces. There were also some disrespectful statements about how our country deals with immigration.

I believe it is time for all Queens residents to start showing appropriate respect for our new immigrants and neighbors.

Like my forbears and those of many of my neighbors, today’s immigrants come to this country for freedom and economic opportunity. They come because they know that in the United States their success will depend on how hard they work, not on the color of their skin or their religion.

There are many South Asian Americans serving in our military and in the city Police Department. Cpl. Gurpreet Singh of the 1st Battalion, 5th Marine Regiment, 1st Marine Division, gave his life for our country June 22. Negative comments about South Asian immigrants dishonor the ultimate sacrifice he made.

Instead, we should be thanking his family and keeping his service at the forefront of our minds when we see new neighbors. These immigrants are paying taxes and raising their children in this great nation. They love this country, too.

Mark Weprin

City Councilman

(D-Oakland Gardens)

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