File photo of South Carolina Governor-elect Nikki Haley as she speaks with voters at Hudson’s Smokehouse on November 3, 2010 in Lexington, South Carolina. The election of Haley makes her the first Indian American governor of South Carolina when she beat incumbent Democrat Vincent Sheheen. (Chris Keane | Getty Images)
Indian American South Carolina Governor Nikki Haley, who is being hailed for her response to President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, has said the fabric of America is based on legal immigrants belonging to all professions, races and religions, writes Lalit K. Jha. (#Community, #Siliconeer, @Siliconeer, #NikkiHaley)
“I think that this country is better when we work together and acknowledge the fact that the fabric of America is based on legal immigrants of all professions, of all races, of all religions,” Haley told reporters at a news conference in South Carolina.
“It is what makes us the greatest, freest country in the world. I’m going to stand by that. My speech last night was not to win over anyone. I understood that when I hit Republicans and Democrats, I was going to upset people. But they gave me the opportunity to say what I think, and that’s what I did,” she said.
Following her impressive speech last night, Haley said she has been receiving calls from all over the country.
Many of the GOP presidential candidates like Jeb Bush, Marco Rubio and Chris Christie have called her.
Proud of her Indian American heritage, the two-term Governor of South Carolina said religion and race should not be the criteria when it comes to legal immigration.
Defending her speech, Haley said she said what she believed.
Responding to questions, Haley said she got upset with Trump when he called for banning all Muslims from entering the United States.
“What is it that Donald Trump is saying that makes him one of these angriest voices?” she was asked.
“The one that got me, I think, was when he started saying ban all Muslims …,” Haley said.
“But when you have got immigrants that are coming here legally, we have never in the history of this country passed any laws or done anything based on race or religion. Let’s not start that now,” she argued.
“We have gone too far than to go back into a race and religion issue. I have been through those fights. That’s not worth it. We want to move America forward. Having said that, there are some things that other presidential candidates have said too. And when I see something wrong, I say it,” Haley said.