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Biden Administration to place US-India ties on 'high priority'; will not tolerate cross-border terrorism in South Asia

News Agencies | Updated on: 16 August 2020, 7:15 IST

The Joe Biden Administration will place a "high priority" on continuing to strengthen the US-India relationship, his campaign said on Saturday adding that if elected he will have "no tolerance" for cross-border terrorism in South Asia.

Biden campaign on Saturday released a policy document, which says Biden Administration will work with India to support a "rules-based and stable Indo-Pacific region" in which no country, including China, is able to "threaten its neighbours with impunity.

"Biden will deliver on his long-standing belief that India and the United States are natural partners, and a Biden Administration will place a high priority on continuing to strengthen the US-India relationship," it said.

"No common global challenge can be solved without India and the United States working as responsible partners, Biden's campaign said on Joe Biden's agenda for the Indian American community," it added.

On immigration, Biden will "preserve family unification as a core principle of our immigration system", increase the number of visas offered for permanent, work-based immigration -- Green Cards, overturning the Trump administration's switch to a merit-based system.

"He will support first reforming the temporary visa system for high-skill, speciality jobs to protect wages and workers, then expanding the number of visas offered and eliminating the limits on employment-based green cards by country, which have kept so many Indian families in waiting for too long. Biden will restore and defend the naturalization process for green cardholders," the document read.

On the rising tide of hate and bigotry on India Americans, Biden will "enact legislation prohibiting someone convicted of a hate crime from purchasing or possessing a firearm."

"Biden will appoint leaders at the Department of Justice who will prioritize the prosecution of hate crimes, and he will order his Justice Department to focus additional resources to combat hate crimes -- including religion-based hate crimes -- and to confront white nationalist terrorism," the policy document read.

"As the world's oldest and largest democracies, the United States and India are bound together by our shared democratic values: fair and free elections, equality under the law, and the freedom of expression and religion. These core principles have endured throughout each of our nations' histories and will continue to be the source of our strength in the future," the document said.

Biden will ensure that South Asian Americans are represented in his administration, starting with his Vice-Presidential nominee, Senator Kamala Harris, whose mother emigrated from India to study and build a life in the United States.

"Our government will reflect the diversity of the United States, and Indian American voices will be included in shaping the policies that impact their communities. From fighting COVID-19 to building our economy back better to reforming our system of immigration, a Biden-Harris Administration will be one that Indian-Americans can count on," it said.

Biden played a lead role, both as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as the Vice President, in systematically deepening the US' strategic engagement, people-to-people ties, and collaboration with India on global challenges, the campaign said.

"In 2006, Biden announced his vision for the future of US-India relations: 'My dream is that in 2020, the two closest nations in the world will be India and the United States'," it said.

He has also worked to make that vision a reality, including leading the charge in Congress, working with Democrats and Republicans, to approve the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement in 2008, said the campaign.

The Obama-Biden administration continued to deepen collaboration between India and the United States on strategic, defence, economic, regional, and global challenges, it said. (ANI)


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First published: 16 August 2020, 7:15 IST