Joe Biden, the presumptive Democratic nominee for president, will work with India in the Indo-Pacific to ensure no country, including China, “is able to threaten its neighbours with impunity” and will have “no tolerance” for cross-border terrorism in South Asia, if elected president, his campaign said in an expansive agenda released Friday for bilateral relations with India and the welfare of Indian Americans.
A Biden administration also will place a “high priority” on bolstering ties with India, continue to strengthen India’s defence capabilities and bring the United States back into the Paris climate to work with India again to combat climate change, according to the agenda.
On immigration, which has been a major part of India-US relations, 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.
His administration will also exempt from any cap recent graduates of PhD programs in STEM fields, eliminate country limit on Green Cards, which has created a 100-year-long backlog for Indias. He will support reforming the temporary visa system for high-skill — H-1Bs — to protect wages and workers and then their numbers.
The agenda was a first expansive plan released by any presidential campaign yet for aims and goals for relations with India and Indian Americas. And, thus, marked the importance being accorded to India. It was released just hours before a major outreach by senior members of the Biden campaign to the community.
On bilateral relations with India, the former vice-president will bring to the offie years of supporting India. As a senator, the agenda said, Biden had in 2006, said,“My dream is that in 2020, the two closest nations in the world will be India and the United States” In 2008, he led other Democrats to back the India -US civil nuclear deal. The Obama-Biden administration declared support for India’s claim to permanent membership of the UN Security Council and Declared India a major defence partner.
As president, the agenda said, “Biden believes there can be no tolerance for terrorism in South Asia – cross-border or otherwise”. The reference here was unmistakably to cross-border terrorism emanating from Pakistan, which had also been a sore point with the Obama administration.
On China, the Biden administration