Few days ago there was a shooting incident in Kansas City on two Indians. It was termed as a hate crime/racial attack as the shooter shouted slogans such as “get out of my country” before opening the gun fire. Since the last few years, race superiority has gained prominence in American society. There is one more dimension to the problem i.e. due to immigration issues.
Although it is quite exaggerative on our part to paint the entire American society as racist as the attack can be due to individual frustration out of immigrants, it is not acceptable in a civilised society like that of America as a whole.
Emergence of Protectionism and Racism
- As the United States is also a nation after all, so the primacy for domestic concerns is bound to arrive at a particular time oozing out of radical nationalism. The United States did follow a protectionist policy, especially during the time of Abraham Lincoln. It all depends on the economic context of the competitiveness.
- By that logic even India has been following protectionist tendencies through import substitution. Communist China and all the rising powers are also having their own concerns about globalisation and so is the case with US. The US is a sovereign nation and it has every right to control the process of migration and oust illegal migrants because the concerns of the citizens are every government’s topmost priority.
- For the Trump administration, the era of protectionism and building a wall between US and Mexico is the national interest and not identity politics.
- Indian students had also faced the wrath of racial attacks in Australia few years ago which led to a dramatic decrease in the number of students opting Australia as their preferred destination for higher education. Observers point out that this trend might soon be replicated in the case of United States too. Acquisition of citizenship through legal means is not an issue for the Americans but the problem which becomes acute is the illegal migration. It is the right of the United States to curb such illegal immigrants from arriving and staying back at the US soil.
Immigration and Visa rules
- President John F Kennedy administration liberally opened the immigration during 1965 via Immigration and Nationality Act of 1965. The result of it is that the United States is a nation now where the original inhabitants have developed a fear that they might become a minority soon.
- In the world today whereonly 3% of the world population is categorised as international migrants, the remaining 97% of the population who are nationalistic and patriotic is feeling the pinch of immigration anxiety. It is vital on the part of the State to look after the welfare needs of this nationalistically charged population and accommodate their concerns. The Trump presidency is a reflection of this and the same is reflected in Europe also with Brexit and PEGIDA as significant examples.
- It is being reported that President Trump wishes to bring changes in the H1B and L1 visa rules which will affect many Indians because more than 50% of the H1B visa quotas are used by Indians. No country has a claim over the international visa policies and every country can build their immigration and visa rules as per their self-interest. India may express its concerns if the policy is very abrupt but it cannot expect a definite action. Rather we should provide adequate employment opportunity to our qualified people and build the country forward to curb the brain-drain of the youth.
The relations between the nations are determined by mutual interests and shared concerns. The incidents of immigration, racial, identity politics does not have a bearing on US-India relations as they are linked towards internal and sovereign policies of our governments. If we look back to the effectiveness of American administration which is a modern state and a well-established democracy, we might expect that they will be able to address the problems quite well within their constitutional framework which has successfully continued for more than 200 years.