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Huge rise in citizenship to Hindus and Sikhs from Pakistan and Afghanistan under PM Modi

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By NewsGram Staff Writer

In the past one year, Prime Minister Narendra Modi led NDA government has provided a shelter in the form of Indian citizenship to more than 4,200 Hindus and Sikhs, who have migrated from Pakistan and Afghanistan. This number is nearly four times greater than the amount of people migrated in last five years.

Statistically comparing both the UPA-II and the NDA government, Congress provided citizenship to 1,023 people in its five years tenure whereas BJP in its one year of incumbency has already provided shelter to 4,230 people, as calculated at the end of April 2015.

BJP clears its aim of providing citizenship by saying that they want to provide refuge to every Hindu who is facing persecution anywhere in the world, much like Israel’s stance towards Jews.

“A natural home for persecuted Hindus” who “shall be welcome to seek refuge,” declared BJP in their 2014 Lok Sabha election manifesto.

On being asked about the reason to provide citizenship to so many people, a Home Ministry spokesperson said, “The numbers of those granted citizenship are miniscule as compared to the country’s population. Government has taken a call resolve the problems being faced by people of Indian origin who in anyway were staying in the country for long.”

Government officials said, settling all the Indian origin citizens back from the neighboring Islamic countries might help the home ministry to expedite long-term visas and citizenship to those fleeing Pakistan, Afghanistan and Bangladesh.

Since the BJP government took charge, almost 19,000 migrants have been given long term visas in Madhya Pradesh, 11,000 in Rajasthan, and around 4,000 in Gujarat, as per the officials.

As per the changes occurred in Citizenship Act, faster disposal of citizenship requests have the potential to open up the floodgates, which will eventually swell the number of those eventually allowed to be permanently based in India to around 10 lakhs by December 2016.

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India Continues Engaging With USA Over H-1B Passport Issue

India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

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As Trump proposes changes in H1-B visa, India continues to engage with US

India is continuing to engage with the US over the H-1B visa, largely availed of by Indian IT companies, after the Trump administration proposed changes to the programme, a senior official said on Thursday.

“It is a very important topic for us and that is the reason why we have time and again at various levels, we have taken up this matter with the US side,” External Affairs Ministry spokesperson Raveesh Kumar said in response to queries by journalists here.

Kumar said that most recently, the issue was raised during the first ever India-US 2+2 Ministerial Meeting held here last month that was attended by External Affairs Minister Sushma Swaraj, Defence Minister Nirmala Sitharaman, US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and Defence Secretary Jim Mattis.

On Wednesday, the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) said that the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) plans to come out with its new proposal by January 2019.

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It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages Flickr

The DHS said it was also proposing to remove from its regulations certain H-4 spouses of H-1B non-immigrants as a class of aliens eligible for employment authorisation.

The move to end the rule could have an impact on more than 70,000 H-4 visa holders, who have work permits.

The H-4 visas are issued by the USCIS to immediate family members (spouse and children under 21 years of age) of the holders of H-1B visa.

The DHS said it will propose to revise the definition of speciality occupation to increase focus on obtaining the best and the brightest foreign nationals via the H-1B programme.

It will also “revise the definition” of employment and employer-employee relationship to “better protect” US workers and wages, the DHS said.

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President Donald Trump speaks about immigration alongside family members affected by crimes committed by undocumented immigrants, at the South Court Auditorium on the White House complex, June 22, 2018, in Washington, VOA

In his remarks on Thursday, Kumar said that India is closely engaged with the US administration as well as the US Congress on this matter.

Stating that there are certain bills which have been introduced, he, however, said that “it is important to note that none of these bills have been passed so far”.

“When we have engaged with the US, we have emphasised that our partnership which we have in the digital sphere have been mutually beneficial,” the spokesperson said.

Also Read: USA And Other Countries Pledge To Eradicate Illegal Wildlife Trade

“We have highlighted the role which has been played by the highly skilled Indian professionals who have actually contributed to the growth and development of the US economy,” he stated.

“And also they have helped the US to maintain a competitive edge in the world towards innovation and science and technology.” (IANS)