With the new US President-elect, Joseph Biden, there is a likelihood that about 5,00,000 undocumented Indian immigrants to the US will get American citizenship as part of Biden’s plans. This is a good start to the US – India relationship. Biden has promised more family-based visas and permanent citizenships to immigrants and restore the naturalization process of green cardholders.
As a Vice President in the Barack Obama administration, Biden fostered strong relationships between India and the US and critics expect the same encouragement during Biden’s term as the president. But some congressmen and women in the US also raised red flags on the Jammu and Kashmir human rights issues when Article 370 was revoked. The campaign policy read that Biden is “disappointed by the measures that the Government of India has taken with the implementation and aftermath of the National Register of Citizens (NRC) in Assam and the passage of the Citizenship (Amendment) Act into law”. Even Kamala Harris, the Vice President, spoke up against the abuse of Human rights in Kashmir in 2019. Biden also expressed disappointment in the CAA and NRC policies of the Modi government.
Biden has also published a ‘Made in America’ plan where steel, cement and building materials from abroad will be restricted. In the wake of the Covid – 19 pandemics, it is also expected that Biden will first try to lift the American economy by giving business to American firms. This may affect India’s export to the US especially since trade issues were a matter of concern even in the Trump administration.
While Indian immigrants in the US are expected to reap benefits from the Biden administration, various policies of the Modi government, often turned a blind eye by Trump, may not be approved by Biden and Harris. All that said, it definitely is too early for us to predict any action that the Biden government will take in the future. We will just have to wait and watch and hope for the best.