“Diversity makes our nation stronger, and I believe it should be celebrated.”
Congressman Jim Langevin (D-RI) announced he will bring Dr. Ehsun Mirza, a critical care doctor originally from Pakistan who is a leader in Rhode Island’s Muslim community, as his guest to President Donald Trump’s address to Congress on February 28.
Langevin is leading an effort among House Democrats to invite guests who have, despite discrimination, made positive impacts on their communities.
“As a candidate for President, Donald Trump mocked a reporter with a disability and made statements that were offensive to so many Americans, including women, members of the LGBTQ community, people of color, immigrants, and people of differing faiths.
“Once he assumed the highest office in the land, his first order of business was to close our borders to immigrants and refugees, particularly those from Muslim-majority countries,” said Langevin.
“Diversity makes our nation stronger, and I believe it should be celebrated. I am proud to call Dr. Mirza a friend, and I hope that his presence on February 28th will serve as a reminder to the President that true Americans come in every color and creed – and not all are born here.”
Dr. Mirza was born in Pakistan and immigrated to the United States for his residency training after medical school.
Now a U.S. citizen, he is trained and board certified in internal medicine, nephrology, hypertension, and critical care.
A critical care doctor at Kent Hospital, Dr. Mirza is a social activist who regularly travels internationally to provide relief services and medical care in rural areas of Nepal and Pakistan, and was the recipient of the “Faith Leader of the Year” award from the Rhode Island State Council of Churches.
He is also a member of Langevin’s Diversity Advisory Committee and of Providence Mayor Jorge Elorza’s Muslim American Advisory Board.
“My contribution to American society is honoring the Pledge of Allegiance: to protect and serve the flag of this nation, and the republic and all of its people, without discrimination of caste, creed, race, religion, gender, or sexual preference,” said Dr. Mirza.
The Langevin-led letter to his Democrat colleagues was co-signed by Representatives Jared Polis (D-CO), Judy Chu (D-CA), David Cicilline (D-RI), Cedric Richmond (D-LA) and Michelle Lujan Grisham (D-NM).
Polis and Cicilline co-chair the LGBT Equality Caucus, Chu chairs the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, Richmond chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, and Lujan Grisham chairs the Congressional Hispanic Caucus. Langevin serves as the co-chair of the Bipartisan Disabilities Caucus.
“It is our hope that their presence in the House Gallery will remind President Trump that he is not the arbiter of patriotism. This country belongs to all of us, and his rhetoric of intolerance will not stand,” said the group in its letter to all members of the Democratic Caucus.