US-India Global Review

25 US-INDIA GLOBAL REVIEW JANUARY-MARCH 2018 district, it was wonderful to get a perspective on India’s tremendous commitment to addressing the issues as well. I also held a busi- ness roundtable when I was in Bangalore in August, and it is exciting to think of the ways in which we can continue to advance India-US relations at a local and federal level. I have also had excellent relationships with the Indian Consulate, and they have helped me resolve numerous visa issues for my constituents. As for betterment of the U.S. Indian American community, I’m proud to have introduced my South Asian Heart Health bill that focuses on making our communi- ties healthier and funding research to ensure that we get the care we need, as well as to have taken on a number of the issues around anti-immigrant, anti- Muslim concerns and hate crimes. 7. Could you also talk about how you plan to deal with H1-B visa, or with DACA, and bills going through Congress that might impact the Indian com- munity here and in India direct- ly? I serve on the prestigious Judiciary Committee which has jurisdiction over all immigration bils. I also am the Chair of the Immigration Committee for the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, and I am also Co-Chair of the Women’s Working Group on Immigration. This is the issue that I have spent 15 years of my life working on and I am deeply familiar and knowledgeable about the problems we face and the solutions we need. I’ve been saying this for a long time and I believe it fully: We need compre- hensive immigration reform and we need it now. That means we need to legalize the 12 million undocumented immigrants who are here working but have no process at all to legalize their sta- tus. While many people thing these are all Mexican immigrants, the reality is that a growing num- ber of Asians—including Indians— are undocumented. We also must fix the family immigration system to get rid of the massive backlogs that disproportionately affect Indians and Filipinos, sometimes taking more than a decade or two to bring immediate family mem- bers to the country. And then we must create a workable system for those who are here on work visas—including H1Bs and oth- ers—to do research and con- tribute to our economy to be able to have a path to permanent resi- dence and citizenship and bring their families. President Trump has continued to blame immigrants for all the woes of the country, crimi- nalizing and deporting them, but the reality is immigrants contribute a great deal to our country and we should reform the system to recognize the needs of America’s economy and families. I believe we have a real shot to pass a clean DREAM Act that provides relief and a pathway to citizenship for the 1.5 million DREAMERs who are contributing so much to our country. I have also introduced two bills to prioritize the rights of immigrants in the U.S. I introduced the Access to Counsel Act with Senator Kamala Harris to ensure that immigrants being held at our borders have access to lawyers. My second bill focused on immi- grant justice is the Dignity for Detained Immigrants Act that restores justice and due process to our badly broken system. When people think of immigrants, they may not often think of the Indian community, but Indian immigrants are among the groups most impacted by the immigration back- log. These policies have a direct impact on the Indian community and I’m making it a priority to uplift South Asian immigrant sto- ries. You have made significant achievements within the first year in Congress - as Vice Ranking Member of the House Budget Committee; member of the House Judiciary Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security; and as a Senior Whip of the Democratic Caucus, the First Vice Chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, and member of the Co- Chair of the Women's Working Group on Immigration, from other caucuses. Could you speak to issues of major concern to you as part of the Subcommittee on Immigration and Border Security; and as co-chair on the Women's Working Group on Immigration -- what are the main achievements so far and the goals in the coming year? An achievement I’m proud of is