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Nikki Haley takes stand against hike of H-1B, L-1 visa fees

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Nikki Haley participates in a panel discussion during the Republican Governors Association

Nikki Haley participates in a panel discussion during the Republican Governors Association

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — India for years has attempted to pressure the U.S. to curb the hiking H-1B and L-1 visa fees. The country’s efforts have begun resonating with key figures inside of the Obama administration, and even those who are members of the GOP.

Vinai Thummalapally, former classmate and close friend of President Obama, was selected in 2011 by the president to setup SelectUSA, a program which sought to attract foreign investment into the U.S. and also endorsed India’s stance on labor and visa issues.

Thummalapally said while India represents the fourth fastest-growing FDI, or foreign direct investment, for the U.S., there are several more hurdles to jump over for Indian companies looking to invest in the country because of the H-1B issues. “This is a huge issue for us. What we do is we actually communicate this to the White House and this is a big concern for the Indian companies,” Thummalapally said. “Of the top 18 companies in IT services about 15-16 are Indian companies including Wipro, Tatas and Infosys. They have been impacted by the rule.”

He added that U.S. affiliates of Indian-owned companies currently employed 45,100 employees in the U.S. in 2013 and contributed $1.5 billion to the country’s exporting market.

In March, India initiated a WTO dispute against the U.S. regarding measures that would impose increased fees on certain H-1B and L-1/L-2 visa candidates. The measures appear to be inconsistent with US commitments under the General Agreement on Trade in Services, Indian officials said in their complaint.

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Republican governor of South Carolina and Indian-American Nikki Haley has come out in support of he Indian argument. Haley has been speculated by many to be a possible vice president candidate in the upcoming general election.

“We have so many Indian students that come here and go to our universities and what kills me is the fact that they are trained, they are talented and then they get sent back. There’s a lot of talent in India and that talent when they come here and they get educated here, it’s the first talent we want to see be able to join our forces and work for our companies,” Haley said.

Additionally, foreign direct investment growth decreased by more than half in the U.S. — $106.6 billion in 2014, down from $211.5 billion in 2013.

“There is a huge dichotomy in US’ trade policies, which is increasingly becoming protectionist while trying to attract more investment. This has led to US share of global FDI falling from 45 percent in 1984 to 12 percent in 2012. India is a huge untapped market for US and H1B visa issue has had a huge negative impact of trade,” said Marek Gootman, director, strategic partnerships and global initiatives at Washington D.C. based think tank Brookings Institute.

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Exclusive: Judges Srinivasan, Rao kickoff SABA virtual conference

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV)  — Diya TV is home to the South Asian Bar Association virtual conference this weekend, which got kicked off by perhaps the two most powerful Indian American lawyers in the nation: Chief Judge Sri Srinivasan & Circuit Judge Neomi Rao, both of whom serve in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals, considered the second most powerful court in the nation to only the Supreme Court. We’ll update you on their conversation and preview this weekend’s virtual gala featuring Stacy Abrams, Preet Bharara, Vanita Gupta, Ajit Pai and many others.

Meanwhile, Judges Srinivasan and Rao may get another Indian American colleague, as President Trump nominated Vijay Shanker to the DC Circuit Court of Appeals.

The Democratic Party announced they will be conducting their convention virtually from Milwaukee.

Indian American Jeremy Cooney is leading in the race for New York State’s 56th Senate District, with absentee ballots still to be factored in.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Satellite images show larger Chinese presence at Indian border

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LADAKH, India (Diya TV)  — While the ongoing fracas between India and China has not led to all-out war yet, satellite images indicate China is sending a larger group of troops and building infrastructure in Galwan Valley, site of that vicious clash that killed 20 Indian troops, and a reported 43 Chinese soldiers. It was the first loss of life in battle for the Chinese in more than 40 years. U.S. intelligence decreed China instigated the battle and India says China has been staffing up in the area since May. Following the release of the satellite images, China says India is to blame.

The U.S. is regressing in its battle against COVID-19, setting a new single day record for coronavirus cases at more than 37,000. The virus has infected nearly 10 million people globally, a quarter of that total in the U.S. The death toll now stands at 125,000 in the United States, with Florida, Texas, Arizona and California seeing major increases.

Pakistani-American Qasim Rashid advanced in the Democratic primary in Virginia’s First Congressional District. ​He’ll take on longtime incumbent Republican Congressman Robert Wittman in the fall.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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As critics fume, Modi says India was not breached by China

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NEW DELHI (Diya TV)  — During an all-party political leaders meeting, Indian Prime Minister Modi told the group China did not breach Indian territory in Ladakh, nor was any Indian Army border post captured. Modi emphasized India will protect Galwan Valley, the region where the clash killing 20 Indian soldiers and a reported 43 Chinese soldiers took place. But Modi’s critics say the situation was an intelligence failure and many want Modi to strike back with force. Meanwhile, in a statement, the Chinese Government pinned the conflict on India and is laying claim to the entire valley region.

India was elected as a Non-Permanent Member of the United Nations Security Council for a 2-year term starting next year, receiving 184 out of 192 valid votes.

And in a wild Friday night surprise, the Justice Department said Geoffrey Berman, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York would be stepping down, to be replaced by Jay Clayton, the current Chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. But in a statement, Berman said he’s not leaving until Congress confirms someone & his investigations, including into folks allied with President Trump, will continue.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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