Monday 17 August 2020 7:08 AM UTC
WASHINGTON Aug 17: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has asserted that if elected, his administration will stand with India against the threats New Delhi faces from its own region and along its borders and vowed to continue to rely on the Indian-American expatriates, that keeps the two nations together.
Last week, Mr Biden scripted history by selecting Indian origin Senator Harris, 55, as his running mate in the US presidential election. Ms Harris, whose father is an African from Jamaica and mother an Indian, is the first-ever Black vice-presidential nominee.
Presidential elections in the US will be held on November 3 and the 77-year-old is challenging incumbent Republican President Donald Trump in the polls.
“Fifteen years ago, I was leading the efforts to approve the historic civil nuclear deal with India. I said that if the US and India became closer friends and partners, then the world will be a safer place,” Mr Biden, who was vice-president in the Obama administration, said while addressing the Indian-American community on India’s Independence Day.
If elected president, Mr Biden said, he will continue to believe this and also continue to stand with India against the threats it faces from its own region and along its borders.
Mr Biden said that he will work on expanding two-way trade between the US and India, and take on big global challenges like climate change and global health security.
If elected, the Democratic candidate said, he will work to strengthen the democracies where diversity is the mutual strength.
On this day, let us “continue to deepen the bond that endures between our nation”s and our people,” Mr Biden said.
He said that “as President, I’ll also continue to rely on the Indian-American expatriates, that keeps our two nations together, as I have throughout my career”.
“My constituents in Delaware, my staff in the Senate, the Obama administration that had more Indian-Americans than any other administration in the history of this country, and this campaign with Indian Americans at senior levels, which of course includes the top of the heap, our dear friend (Kamala Harris) who will be the first Indian American vice president in the history of the United States of America,” Mr Biden said.
“We all know she’s smart, she’s tested, she’s prepared. But another thing that makes Kamala so inspiring is her mother’s immigrant story to the US that started in India, with pure courage that brought her daughters to this moment. I know the pride you feel. It’s your story too,” Mr Biden said.
“For your sacrifices, and your family’s courage, you became pillars of our community and our country. You’re patriots and the frontlines of this pandemic. In this reckoning of systemic racism, you’re making real real promise that America is a place where people of all races and religions can live together in peace,” he said.
“But I know it’s hard. My heart goes out to all those of you who have been the targets in a rise in hate crimes, and the crackdown of legal immigration, including a sudden and harmful actions on H-1B visas. That for decades have made America stronger and brought our nation’s closer,” Biden said.
The H1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.
“While it’s sometimes may not feel like the US of your dreams, we will overcome and build back better than ever. Like (former President) Barack Obama had asked to me, I’m asking Kamala Harris, to be the last person in the room to ask the tough questions of me, provide counsel, most of all to always represent the belief in possibilities,” the former US vice president said.
Around 1.3 million Indian-Americans are expected to vote in this year’s election, with nearly 200,000 in battleground states like Pennsylvania and 125,000 in Michigan, according to the research firm CRW Strategy.
In the 2016 presidential election, 77 per cent of Indian Americans voted for Democrat candidate Hillary Clinton.
President Donald Trump has been seeking to win over Indian voters, praising Indian-Americans as business and technology leaders. – PTI
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