NY immigrants underground

Raj, 27 and from India, was smoking a cigarette outside the school where he took computer classes last fall when a white man walked up and sucker-punched him in the face. The same stranger had earlier taunted him, shouting, "You Muslims all grow up to be terrorists." The police officer who met with Raj in the emergency room refused to write down the phrase.

Raj (not his real name) found an attorney to help him lodge a bias complaint, both about the assault and the officer's conduct. During a meeting with a New York City prosecutor, his lawyer thought to ask, just in case, "if there would be trouble" for her client. (...)

The prosecutor was honest. If the feds came snooping, he said, Raj's nationality—and a criminal record reflecting a store robbery—could land him behind bars, no matter that he was the victim in this case. The conversation with the prosecutor so shook her, a hate crimes specialist not easily spooked by the system, that she advised Raj "to go underground. We suggested that when the prosecutor's office called him, not to return the calls. We told him never to apply for citizenship, not to leave the country and expect to come back, and if he sees a cop, to go the other way."
Village Voice: Arabs and South Asians Dodge Authorities, Even When in Need.
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