HAF, The Law, & You

Report Bias-Motivated Crimes

The Hindu American Foundation urges that if you or someone you know has been harassed, assaulted or threatened with harm on the basis of your identity (e.g., race, religion, disability, ethnic origin, or sexual orientation),  please do not stay silent; report the incident to law enforcement immediately. Similarly, please report any incidents involving vandalism, hateful graffiti, desecration, arson, or violence directed towards temples or other properties.
We also request that you help us in tracking incidents of identity-based or bias-motivated intimidation, threats, harassment, and violence being experienced in our communities. The more data we have about such incidents, the better we will be able to work with the appropriate authorities, agencies, civil rights advocates, and other stakeholders to identify areas of particular concern and ensure the safety and security of the community.
What qualifies as a hate crime?  What should you do if you are the victim of a hate crime?  Click here to download our Hate Crimes Information document (pdf).

After reporting incidents to law enforcement, please help us by filling out the following form: Bias-Motivated Crime Data Collection Form.
Please understand that HAF is unable to provide individual legal advice, assistance, or counsel.  

Know Your Rights

The Hindu American Foundation presents a "Know Your Rights" guide specifically tailored to the issues the Hindu American community may face with regard to religious freedom. The guide provides basic, introductory information regarding religious freedom, your rights and duties as citizens or legal residents of the U.S and other resources. 
An expanded version of the guide, featuring more comprehensive discussion and legal citations, is also available for download by clicking here

Temples: Be Prepared for Hate Crimes and/or Domestic Terror Strike

Please click here to view resources for preparing your temple or community center in the event of an attack.

Please click here to view the 2013 DHS Guide for Developing High Quality Emergency Operations Plans for Houses of Worship.

Hindu R-1 Worker/Occupation Descriptions

In response to the Hindu American Foundation and several other Hindu organizations submitting comments expressing concerns of the inherent Judeo-Christian bias in the list of religious workers and occupations in the R-1 visa program regulations, the U.S. Immigration and Citizenship Service (USCIS) removed the list in the new regulations, leaving open the opportunity for individual temples to describe on their own such religious workers and occupations.  
To best serve the needs of the community as well as provide the USCIS some standardized terminology which will increase familiarity with Hindu practice and temple needs, the Hindu American Foundation has created a descriptive list of possible religious worker positions that a Hindu temple in the U.S. may need in order to meet its functions. It is by no means exhaustive, either in terms of potential positions or descriptions and is for instructional purposes only. Please click here to view the full listing of descriptions. 

Summary of Changes to the Religious Worker Program 

The Hindu American Foundation would like to take the opportunity to update you on the results of rulemaking the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) religious worker and special immigrant programs underwent in late 2006. Rulemaking, as we explained previously, is the process by which federal agencies formulate or amend new regulations. The rulemaking process generally consists of a proposed rule stage, a comment period and final rule stage. As part of the rulemaking process, the agency is required to consider the public comments received on the proposed regulation and if appropriate, incorporate responses to the issues raised by those who submitted comments. 
Please click here to view a summary of the major changes.