Why Kamala Harris’ nomination matters to India

Indian roots
Kamala Harris was born in Oakland, California to Shyamala Gopalan and Donald Harris. Though she considers herself Black, Harris has often spoke spoken of her Indian roots.

Supports H4 Visa
H-4 visas are issued by US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) to immediate family members — spouse and children under 21 years of age — of the holder of H-1B visa, the most sought-after among Indian IT professionals. Kamala Harris has in the past argued in favour of these visas. Harris had said that revocation of H4 visas would “disproportionately target” South Asian women.

Run in with US Sikhs
Indian-American Muslims and Sikhs have hailed the selection of Senator Kamala Harris as the Democratic party’s vice-presidential candidate, calling it a remarkable success for the entire community. However, last year Harris was criticised for defending a discriminatory policy in 2011 that prohibited state prison guards from keeping beards for religious reasons, even though exceptions were given for medical reasons.

Spat with Jaishankar
In 2019, External affairs minister S Jaishankar has cancelled a meeting with US lawmakers, including Congresswoman Pramila Jayapal who is sponsoring a resolution on Kashmir in the House of Representatives. Harris had then backed her colleague.

“It’s wrong for any foreign government to tell Congress what members are allowed in meetings on Capitol Hill,” Harris had tweeted then.

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