News By/Courtesy: Varsha Subramaniam | 15 Nov 2020 6:44am IST

HIGHLIGHTS

  • The confirmation that Joe Biden will be the next President of United States will reshape the nation’s relationship with countries around the world.
  • President Trump suspended H-1B visas through the end of the year.
  • Discussions over work visa programs like the H-1B have been a significant component of U.S.-India ties at-large.

The confirmation that Joe Biden will be the next President of the United States will reshape the nation’s relationship with countries around the world. Biden has pledged that he will restore the U.S.’s “respected leadership on the world stage” and bring together representatives of democracies around the world to “honestly confront the challenge of nations that are backsliding.” This is in stark contrast to President Donald Trump, who for the last four years has taken an isolationist approach to foreign policy and undermined-decades old alliances.

But Trump has forged a few friendships overseas—including with India’s Hindu nationalist Prime Minister Narendra Modi. In the face of a rising China, the two countries have drawn closer together militarily, too. So, for the world’s largest democracy, the stakes are high for the future Biden Administration.

The pressure goes both ways: Kamala Harris will be the first Indian American Vice President of the United States, a position that has the potential to change Indian engagement with American politics, as well as the United States’ response to issues in India. The relationship between the countries is also especially crucial for India, where the economy shrank by 23.9% in the first quarter of the 2020-2021 fiscal year, the largest drop in decades and the greatest setback a major economy has experienced from the coronavirus pandemic.

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated both Biden and Harris on Twitter. “As the [Vice President], your contribution to strengthening Indo-U.S. relations was critical and invaluable,” he wrote in a tweet addressed to Biden. “I look forward to working closely together once again to take India-U.S. relations to greater heights.”

To Harris, Modi wrote: “Your success is pathbreaking, and a matter of immense pride not just for your chittis [a Tamil family term that Harris used in her VP nominee acceptance speech], but also for all Indian-Americans. I am confident that the vibrant India-U.S. ties will get even stronger with your support and leadership.”

President Trump suspended H-1B visas through the end of the year. The permit allows specialized foreign workers with technical skills to enter the U.S. and work for American firms, and the largest share of recipients work in the tech sector. Typically, 85,000 H-1B visas are issued each year, and almost 75% of all H-1B visa holders in the U.S. are from India.

“Discussions over work visa programs like the H-1B have been a significant component of U.S.-India ties at-large,” says Kashish Parpiani of Mumbai’s Observer Research Foundation, adding that the U.S. has a need for skilled workers that India is happy to provide. Trump Administration announced that it would scrap the lottery system in place to receive an H-1B visa and replace it with a process that prioritizes the highest-paying jobs. “These tightening regulations around the filing and handling of the H-1B visas will be very concerning to Indian IT companies”.

Biden has promised to lift Trump’s freeze. He has also announced that he will go further, reforming the temporary visa system as well as eliminating country quotas on green cards—a policy that has resulted in long waiting periods, sometimes longer than entire lifetime, for Indians trying to become permanent U.S. residents.

However appealing Biden’s promises of reform may be to Indians trying to enter the United States, they should be taken with a grain of salt. “The expansion of the H-1B program is not going to be the initial priority, especially because Biden will be inheriting the job losses that have happened in the coronavirus pandemic”.

 “The odds of Biden taking that up and enthusiastically expanding that program are slim.”

President Trump suspended H-1B visas through the end of the year. The permit allows specialized foreign workers with technical skills to enter the U.S. and work for American firms, and the largest share of recipients work in the tech sector. Typically, 85,000 H-1B visas are issued each year, and almost 75% of all H-1B visa holders in the U.S. are from India.

“Discussions over work visa programs like the H-1B have been a significant component of U.S.-India ties at-large".

 

This Article Does Not Intend To Hurt The Sentiments Of Any Individual Community, Sect, Or Religion Etcetera. This Article Is Based Purely On The Authors Personal Views And Opinions In The Exercise Of The Fundamental Right Guaranteed Under Article 19(1)(A) And Other Related Laws Being Force In India, For The Time Being. 

 

Section Editor: Pushpit Singh | 15 Nov 2020 18:26pm IST


Tags : US Presidential Elections 2020

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