According to, New Jersey has the “third-largest number of South Asians in the nation.” South Asian American communities have flourished in places like Iselin and Jersey City. The community’s size has translated into South Asian Americans feeling more empowered. The New York Times noted, in an article titled, “South Asians in New Jersey Are Flexing Their Political Muscle,” that “the rising political profile of South Asians, who tend to vote Democratic, has made them an increasingly sought-after voting bloc.” Further, this past election has witnessed the historic election of Ravi Bhalla, a Sikh American, as the next mayor of Hoboken, and the stunning upset of a long-time Republican by Democrat Vin Gopal, also a South Asian American. However, the growing influence of South Asian Americans has led to some backlash. Days before voters would go to the polls, racist fliers were distributed, insinuating that Bhalla was a “terrorist.” In Edison, fliers were spread across town, urging residents to “deport” the two Asian Americans candidates (an East Asian American and a South Asian American) running for the local school board.