Joe Biden Seeks Indian Votes with Amnesty, Work Permits for India’s Graduates

In this Friday, Feb. 17, 2017 photo, P. Venkateshwarlu, a 27-year old graduate preparing for a government accountant's job, studies in an open ground outside the City Central Library in Hyderabad, India. Hundreds of young college students and job-seekers, armed with their books and other study material sit and prepare …
AP Photo/Mahesh Kumar A.

Joe Biden is promising to deliver more of India’s contract workers — plus an unlimited supply of tech graduates — to the small but growing Indian community in the United States.

“He will increase the number of visas offered for permanent, work-based immigration based on macroeconomic conditions and exempt from any cap recent graduates of Ph.D. programs in STEM fields,” says a new page on Biden’s campaign website. The page is titled  “Joe Biden’s Agenda for the Indian American [sic] Community.”

The document touts his choice for Vice President, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif. Her mother was Indian, and he promises to put Indian visa workers on a fast track to green cards:

He will support first reforming the temporary visa system for high-skill, specialty 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’s outreach to Indian-American voters may help win a very small but critical number of Indian swing votes in a few swing states, including Florida, Minnesota, Pennsylvania, and Wisconsin.

Amid a recession that has wiped out 30 million jobs, Biden also offered an amnesty to an estimated population of 500,000 illegal migrants from India:

He will immediately begin working with Congress to pass legislative immigration reform that modernizes our system, with a priority on keeping families together by providing a roadmap to citizenship for nearly 11 million undocumented immigrants — including more than 500,000 from India.

Harris is also a vocal supporter of Indian migrants in the United States.

For example, she co-sponsored legislation that would greatly increase the incentive for more Indian graduates to seek jobs in the United States. The bill, S.386, is a business-backed bill led by Utah GOP Sen. Mike Lee that is stalled in the Senate, despite lack of open opposition from GOP or Democratic legislators.

Biden’s document emphasizes his support for India:

Biden played a lead role, both as Chairman of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee and as Vice President, in systematically deepening our strategic engagement, people-to-people ties, and collaboration with India on global challenges. In 2006, Biden announced his vision for the future of U.S.-India relations: “My dream is that in 2020, the two closest nations in the world will be India and the United States.”

“This is how reckless Joe Biden is — he wants to become joined at the hip with a country where two-thirds of its people are in absolute poverty, beyond any notion of poverty we have here in the United States,” responded Kevin Lynn, founder of U.S. Tech Workers. “There is no bottom to that pool of labor – and so it will destroy any gains Americans have gained,” he added. 

For example, he said, Biden is offering green cards and citizenship to an unlimited number of foreign graduates who pay for technology PhDs at American universities. That plan would allow more Indians and other migrants can flood into the U.S. labor market for professional jobs, he said. “They are prepared to pay a lot of money for [green cards], and you’d see a rise in college enrollments because that’s how you game the get-a-green-card system.”

In June and August, President Donald Trump promised to temporarily block and soon tighten several of the worker pipelines. However, Trump may let his deputies, donors, and business groups block the reforms.  

Biden’s promise marks another step as the U.S. immigration shifts from the 1965 emphasis on diverse immigration from many countries, said John Miano, a lawyer with the Immigration Reform Law Institute. Biden would “replace the current diversity system to a system based on Indian immigration and the preference of powerful employers,” said Miano. 

Each year, roughly 25 million young Indians turn 18, or six times the four million Americans turn who will reach age 18 in 2020.

India’s government is under intense pressure to help create at least eight million new jobs each year. So it uses trade and diplomacy to deliver Indians to jobs in other countries. In February 2019, the Forsyth County Newreported:

Ani Agnihotri, program chair of the USA-India Business Summit … said India has a massive and young population that could provide skilled, English-speaking workers ready to relocate “even at a seven-day notice” ….

“India has the youngest population in the world. About 25 percent of the population of India, which is 1.25 billion, is below the age of 25,” he said. “We will be the provider of the workforce of the world in about 15 years, after 2035.”

The Indian government claimed in 2018 some 13.5 million Indians were working abroad, mostly in Arab countries. The report also claimed 1.3 million “Non-Resident Indians” are temporarily working, studying, or residing in the United States. The report revealed there are 3.2 million “Person of Indian Origin” in the United States.

If Biden is elected, India’s government will try to export many more of its young people into the U.S. labor market, Miano said.

Already, “India has seized control of the [H-1B] pipeline, and any increase in that pipeline goes to [benefit] India,” he added. Indian comprise roughly 70 percent of contract workers imported via the H-1B pipelines. 

The growing population of Indian and Chinese visa workers in the United States has already pushed many American graduates out of jobs, cut their salaries, and often ended their careers. Indian workers have replaced many Americans, and others have exported many jobs back to India.

U.S. CEOs and investors are lobbying for more Indian labor in the U.S., usually via the H-1B visa program, and the universities’ “Practical Training” pipelines. The pipelines keep roughly 1 million Indian graduates in the U.S.-India Outsourcing Economy, which is represented by the U.S.-India NASSCOM trade association.

The resident population of Indian visa workers and immigrants is also helping to grow the population of Indian illegal migrants. That population may be far larger than Biden’s estimate of 500,000. The population includes Indians who have overstayed their visas or are working illegally after arriving legally or who are smuggled into the U.S. to work at Indian-owned shops and businesses.

Many Fortune 500 CEOs prefer Indian workers to American graduates. The visa workers have few legal or workplace rights and will remain compliant for many years in the hope of winning the huge payout of company-sponsored green cards. In contrast, U.S. professionals have the legal right to quit their companies, join rival companies, or also to create rival companies. So India’s visa workers and their Indian-born managers allow the tech CEOS to recreate virtual “no-poaching” cartels that were deemed illegal in 2010.

The rising inflow of Indian workers is also booting India’s ability to buy U.S. products, such as oil, grain, and weapons. The expanding trade pressures and rewards U.S. diplomats to help the inflow of Indian visa workers.

 

 

 

 

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