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If elected, will revoke H1-B visa suspension: Joe Biden

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden during a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 30, 2020.

Democratic U.S. presidential candidate and former Vice President Joe Biden during a campaign event in Wilmington, Delaware, U.S., June 30, 2020.   | Photo Credit: REUTERS

Democratic presidential candidate and former U.S. vice president Joe Biden has said that he will lift the temporary suspension on H-1B visas, the most sought-after by Indian IT professionals, if he wins the November presidential elections.

On June 23, in a huge blow to Indian IT professionals eyeing the US job market, the Trump administration suspended the H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas until the end of 2020 to protect American workers in a crucial election year.

Also read: Potential legal loophole’ in Trump H-1B ban, says immigration lawyer Sheela Murthy

Mr. Biden, in a digital town hall meeting on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues organised by NBC News, praised the contribution of H-1B visa holders.

"He (US President Donald Trump) just ended H-1B visas the rest of this year. That will not be in my administration, " Mr. Biden, 77, said responding to a question during the town hall. He was referring to the temporary suspension of the H-1B visas and other foreign work visas by Trump for the rest of the year.

"The people on the company visa have built this country, " Mr. Biden said when asked what his administration will do in the first 100 days of his presidency.

The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in specialty occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

"On day one, I’m going to send the legislative immigration reform bill to Congress to provide a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants who contribute so much to this country, including 1.7 million from the AAPI community.

"My immigration policy is built around keeping families together, modernising an immigration system by keeping families, unification and diversity as pillars of our immigration system, which it used to be, " Mr. Biden said.

He alleged that Trump’s immigration policies are cruel and humane.

'Ties with India will be high priority'

Earlier Mr. Biden said that if he wins the November elections, strengthening relationship with India which is the U.S.’ “natural partner”, will be a high priority for his administration.

India needs to be a partner in the region for our safety’s sake, and quite frankly for theirs,” he said in response to a question on India-US relationship during a virtual fund raiser event.

Also read: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden | The journey to Washington

At the fund raiser hosted by Chairman and CEO of Beacon Capital Partners Alan Leventhal, the former vice president said that India and the United States were natural partners.

“That partnership, a strategic partnership, is necessary and important in our security,” Mr. Biden said when asked by an attendee whether India is critical to US’ national security.

Referring to his eight years as the vice president, he said, “In our administration I was proud to play a role more than a decade ago in securing Congressional approval for the US-India Civil Nuclear Agreement, which is a big deal.”.

Also read: Biden seeks restoration of peoples’ rights in Kashmir; disappointed with CAA,NRC

“Helping open the door to great progress in our relationship and strengthening our strategic partnership with India was a high priority in the Obama-Mr. Biden administration and will be a high priority if I’m elected president, Mr. Biden said.

Both as the Vice Ppresident and a senator from Delaware, he was a big supporter of India-US relationship.

About the November polls, Mr. Biden said that the character of the country is on the ballot. The upcoming election is the most important poll of a lifetime and that the country is currently engaged in a battle for its soul, he claimed.

Mr. Biden also slammed President Donald Trump and his administration over the handling of the coronavirus pandemic.

“Trump ignored warnings from the very beginning, refused to prepare and failed to protect the country. Not just now but throughout his presidency, undermining the very core pillars of our, what I would argue, moral and economic strength,” the Democratic presidential candidate said.

“I really do believe that our country is crying out for leadership and maybe even more important, some healing. Today, we have an enormous opportunity not only to rebuild but to build back better than before. To build a better future. That’s what America does,” he said.

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Printable version | Aug 13, 2020 8:44:25 PM | https://www.thehindu.com/news/international/if-elected-bolstering-ties-with-india-will-be-high-priority-joe-biden/article31967851.ece

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