Indian-American Rep. Asked Whether She Is A US Citizen On Live TV

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“You have to be a U.S. citizen to be in Congress. I’m a proud U.S. citizen. I became a citizen in 2000. I’ve actually lived in this country since I was 16 years old.”

 

 

An Indian-American Democratic lawmaker, who is serving as the representative from Washington's seventh congressional district, was on live television where she was asked by a Republican whether she is a U.S. citizen.

Rep. Pramila Jayapal (D-Wash.) was discussing special counsel Robert Mueller’s ongoing investigation into alleged Russia meddling in 2016 U.S. presidential election and immigration on C-SPAN’s morning show “Washington Journal.”

During the segment, the host began taking calls of viewers. That is when a Republican from Reno, Nevada called in.

“I just wanted to know if the congresswoman herself is a US citizen,” asked the Republican.

The lawmaker then chuckled and affirmatively answered, “You have to be a U.S. citizen to be in Congress. I’m a proud U.S. citizen. I became a citizen in 2000. I’ve actually lived in this country since I was 16 years old,” she said.

Jaypal further answered the question and called for immigration reform.

“The existing visa system, which is very broken. You know, we're talking about a DACA fix, but we need a whole fix for comprehensive immigration reform in general. That's something I've worked on for 15 years. Most of our immigration laws, and a lot of people watching this may not know this, have not been adjusted for decades,” added Jaypal.

The Democrat is the first Indian-American woman to serve in the House of Representatives. She was born in Chennai, India. Jaypal moved to the United States when she was 16 years old. She attended college at Georgetown University in Washington, D.C. and then obtained her MBA from Northwestern University.

Jaypal added she is married to a U.S. citizen and has a U.S. citizen child. She said she came to the country on student visa and eventually got her U.S. citizenship after several different visas.

Banner/Thumbnail Credits: Getty Images, Bill Clark

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