1.3 million Indian American voters may be potential game changers in Nov. 3 presidential poll.
In just 100 days, 1.3 million Indian American voters have to choose between â€œPresident Tweetyâ€ Donald Trump and â€œSleepy Joeâ€ Biden, as they call each other, who they want to win the White House.
Time was when immigrants from India largely voted for Democrats in presidential elections since 1992 when Democrat Bill Clinton ousted incumbent Republican President George H.W. Bush.
But things started changing in 2016 when a group of Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modiâ€™s supporters rooted for â€œAbki bar Trump Sarkarâ€ (This time Trump government) copying Modiâ€™s own 2014 slogan.
So much so that now both political parties are wooing them in right earnest hoping their demographic profile in eight battle ground states â€” from Arizona to Wisconsin â€” giving them a clout far larger than their numbers, would prove a game changer.
But who would be good for them, who would do better for the economy and who would stand by their former homeland. So letâ€™s take a look at issues close to their heart starting with immigration.
President Trump earlier this month promised to bring a â€˜greatâ€™ and â€˜very powerful merit-based immigration actâ€™ that would be â€œstrong on bordersâ€™ and also take care of â€œpeople from DACA in a very Republican way.â€
But he gave no details. NorÂ does his campaign site listing an â€œimmigration reform proposal which calls for the transition to a merit-based immigration planâ€ among the promises kept.
The campaign also does not outline Trumpâ€™s plans on the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA), the Obama era program that protects undocumented immigrants, who were brought to the US as children, after it was upheld by the Supreme Court.
It simply says that the Trump administration also â€œtook action to wind down the DACA program in an orderly fashionâ€ giving â€œCongress the opportunity to consider appropriate legislative solutions.â€
RELATED: Trump, Biden campaigns wooing Indian Americans (July 21, 2020)
President Trump, the campaign asserted â€œhas enforced immigration laws to protect American communities and American jobsâ€ and has â€œmade removals of illegal immigrants a priority.â€
Trump, it notes has â€œcalled on Congress to fully fund a wall along the Southern border, to close legal loopholes that enable illegal immigration, to end chain migration, and to eliminate the visa lottery program.â€
The campaign also makes no mention of Trumpâ€™s June 22 proclamation suspending H-1B and other work visas until the yearend, or his abortive attempt to send back foreign students taking only on-line classes this fall.
Trumpâ€™s rival Biden, on the other hand, has vowed to immediately lift the curbs on these work visas extensively used by Indian professionals if he wins the race to White House in November.
â€œThat will not be in my administration,â€ he said in a June 27 digital town hall adding, â€œThe people coming on these [H-1B] visas have built this country.â€
RELATED: Biden vows to end green card caps, increase H-1B visas (July 15, 2020)
The former Vice President also promised to â€œmake it easier for qualified green card holders to move through this backlogâ€ in whichÂ thousands of Indian professionals are stuck for decades due to seven percent country caps.
Accusing Trump of having â€œwaged an unrelenting assault on our values and our history as a nation of immigrants,â€ his campaign says, â€œItâ€™s wrong, and it stops when Joe Biden is elected president.â€
Biden, it promised, â€œwill support expanding the number of high-skilled visas and eliminating the limits on employment-based visas by country, which create unacceptably long backlogs.â€
Biden, â€œwill also work with Congress to reform the current system of temporary work visas to allow workers in select industries to switch jobs, while certifying the labor marketâ€™s need for foreign workers.â€
In the first 100 days, a Biden Administration will â€œstreamline and improve the naturalization process to make it more accessible to qualified green card holders,â€ it promised.
Promising to â€œprotect Dreamers and their families,â€ his campaign vowed to make them eligible for federal student aid and provide access to community college without debt.
Supporting â€œfamily-based immigration by preserving family unification as a foundation of our immigration system,â€ Biden would exempt the spouse and children of green card holders from caps and allow parents to bring their minor children with them.
He also vowed to create a road map to citizenship for the nearly 11 million â€œunauthorized immigrants who register, are up-to-date on their taxes, and have passed a background check.â€
The Biden campaign also vowed to end what it called Trumpâ€™s â€œdetrimental asylum policies,â€ and rescind the “un-American travel and refugee bans, also referred to as ‘Muslim bans.'”