Democrats, Republicans eye support of Indian Americans

WION New Delhi, Delhi, India Aug 06, 2020, 10.48 PM(IST) Edited By: Palki Sharma

File photo: Biden and Trump Photograph:( Reuters )

Story highlights

Both Democrats and Republicans are reaching out to Indians and making special promises to win their report.

In less than 90 days, the United States will go for the presidential election and the lawmakers are going all out to secure votes.

And like any other presidential election in the country, a special focus is on the Indian American voters.

Both Democrats and Republicans are reaching out to Indians and making special promises to win their report.

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Let's understand how Democrats and Republicans are trying to lure these voters. 

Democrats in favour of H-1B

The Democrats want to hit US President Donald Trump where it hurts the most and that is why they picked up the issue of H-1B vias.

Trump has put a freeze on them and the Democrats have promised to bring it back. 

The Democrats say Trump's visa freeze is illegal, chaotic and reckless and believes that programs like H-1B help the American economy.

Out of 65 thousand such visas allotted each year, almost 70 per cent is given to Indians, making them the largest beneficiaries. 

Republicans selling the golden ticket

The Republicans, on the other hand, are selling Indians the golden ticket to America: the green card. 

Senator Mike Lee has raised the issue in the US Congress. He was arguing in favour of removing the cap. 

Lee said that the limits on the green card punish the Indian immigrants. 

"If you are born anywhere else, anywhere else other than China, let's say in Ghana, Sweden, Indonesia, basically any other country other than India, your application will be considered immediately. This sort of discrimination is simply inconsistent with the principles of a merit-based immigration system and with our founding principles," Lee said.

He said that the green card waitlist for Indians runs into 200 years.

This argument is true as for many Indians, the green card queue may last longer than their lifetimes. 

Currently, only 140,000 green cards are issued every year. More than 200,000 Indians have filed petitions for permanent residency in the US.

Skilled Indian workers make up 75 per cent of the backlog.

Over 700,000 of them are in the line of march, suggesting it's a broken system. 

As of 2016, there were over four million people of Indian origin in the US, out of this, close to 1.8 million are of voting age. 

This suggests that Indians is the third-largest block of voters within the Asian community alone.

The issue of visas is dear to this community as well as to the New Delhi-Washington relations.

So it's not a surprise anymore that Indian Americans will get special attention in the elections this year.