Indian-American supporters of Donald Trump believe the President’s actions on immigration will reward Indians in the long run despite his crackdown on H-1B visas that Trump highlighted Thursday.
Protecting American jobs was one of the promises Trump made during his re-nomination acceptance speech at the Republican National Convention Thursday.
“Trump is a nice, kind-hearted man.” KV Kumar, president & CEO of Indian American International Chamber of Commerce, told indica News.
“He is tough — the only President to challenge North Korea, China and Iran,” said Kumar, who served on the Trump campaign’s Asian American and Pacific Islander advisory council in the previous election.
“The President’s speech was very powerful and he stated the important accomplishments; the differences between his administration and what it would be like if Vice President Joe Biden and Kamala Harris’s administration came to power,” he said.
But is Trump not harsh on immigration and has that not hurt H-1B visa holders?
Kumar, who August 12 attended and contributed at a fundraising event in South Carolina with Trump Jr along with South Carolina Governor Henry McMaster, said he agreed.
“We have been fighting on these issues as we speak. But we’ve pushed off the immigration issue till the end of the year, “ said Kumar. “The Chamber has been working very hard both with the Congress, Senate and the White House.”
Kumar believes the strict visa rules will benefit India in the long run. He said Trump is promoting merit-based visa and people who are qualified would have no problem.
“There are some glitches in the system and the President acknowledges that. We have to work, it is not easy, it’s tough,” he said.
“We should look at his good part of what he has done… he is good for business and his relationship with India is good,” said Kumar.
He recalled an anecdote, from 1990, when he was looking for a room in Atlantic City on Christmas Eve with his wife who was in a wheelchair and in pain., Kumar said, Trump offered him shelter though all rooms were booked at his hotel.
“We were strangers then to each other,” Kumar said. “So, again, he is both kind and tough and understands people’s problems.”
In his speech Thursday, Trump did not directly name India but openly pointed to a recent controversy over offshoring jobs at the Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) that laid off employees.
Trump said he learned TVA laid off hundreds of American Workers and forced them to train their lower-paid foreign replacements.
“I promptly removed the chairman of the board,” Trump said.
And now, he said, those American workers have been re-hired and are back providing power to Georgia, Alabama, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, and Virginia.
Trump said he had invited them as guests to the RNC. “Some are here with us this evening, please stand,” he said.
Another Indian-American Trump supporter, California-based Suru Manek, also defended the President’s actions against the immigration system.
“There is high unemployment in the USA. Any country would curb immigration during such pandemic times,” said Manek, who is also member the Indian American International Chamber of Commerce and author of the book Generation B: Black America’s Reset to Success.
Manek, a Gujarati who grew up in Kenya, said Trump’s harsh policy toward the H-1B visa was “understandable.”
“Merit-based immigration is a more discreet and a fairer process and a way for a country to absorb immigrants where there is an acute need. Makes sense to me,” he said.
“H-1B work visas had its time. A lot of immigrants in the ’60s and ’70s had entered the USA with fake degrees. Now, more stringent rules are being applied. Every country has its own laws.”
He said: “The US has been more than generous all these years. The lottery system of 80,000 a year was a joke. Yet, the US was hospitable to these immigrants.”
Manek said immigrants have made America what it is but now merit-based immigrants would raise it even higher.
During the lengthy speech, Trump mentioned about immigration reform, vaccine for Covid-19 before the end of this year, border security, how his executive order stopped tearing down of national monuments, why there is unrest in several cities and states.
He promised to increase police, and send a woman to the moon and put America’s flag on Mars.
“I took on big pharma and signed orders that will massively lower the cost of your prescription drugs, and to give critically ill patients access to lifesaving cures,” he claimed.
Joe Biden, Trump said, “has spent his entire career on the wrong side of history.”
“Biden voted for the NAFTA disaster, the single worst trade deal ever enacted. He supported China’s entry into the World Trade Organization, one of the greatest economic disasters of all time. After those Biden calamities, the United States lost one in four manufacturing jobs. The laid off workers in Michigan, Ohio, New Hampshire, Pennsylvania, and many other states didn’t want Joe Biden’s hollow words of empathy, they wanted their jobs back!”
“We’ll make sure our companies and jobs stay in our country, as I’ve already been doing. Joe Biden’s agenda is Made in China. My agenda is Made in the USA.”
“We will create 10 million jobs in the next 10 months,” said Trump.
Trump was introduced by his daughter Ivanka.
“Washington has not changed Donald Trump. Donald Trump has changed Washington,” she said.
“He is so unapologetic about his beliefs that he has caused me, and countless Americans to take a hard look at our own convictions and ask ourselves, what do we stand for, what kind of America do we want to leave for our children.”