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Guess which country’s citizens hold the record for the highest number of H1B visas to the US?

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WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The amount of H-1B visas issued to Indian nationals remains the highest, constituting 70 percent of those issued worldwide, according to Michelle Bond, U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for Consular Affairs.

“Indian citizens receive almost 70% of all the H-1B visa issued worldwide,” Bond said. “Overwhelmingly, Indian applicants are the ones who are successful in qualifying for these visas.”

Bond, who was visiting India to hold the fifth annual Consular dialogue with her counterparts at the MEA, added that 11,000 Indian citizens were issued H-1Bs between October 2015 and September 2015. The U.S. doubled the fees to $4000 for H-1B and to $4,500 for L-1 at the end of last year.

“These specific visa where the fees changed – the H and L visas – we have seen no drop in the number of applications for those visas, no lessening of interest in obtaining those visas. It was a legislative change, so we were implementing that law,” she said in explanation.

The news of Indian’s usage of the visa comes on the heels of a congressional bill two lawmakers are seeking to introduce — the “H-1B and L-1 Visa Reform Act of 2016” introduced by Democratic Congressman Bill Pascrell from New Jersey and Republican Dana Rohrabacher from California would prohibit companies from hiring H-1B and L-1 visa employees if they employ more than 50 people and more than 50 percent of their employees are H-1B and L-1 visa holders.

“America is producing many skilled, high-tech professionals with advanced degrees and no jobs. By ‘in-sourcing’ and exploiting foreign workers, some businesses are abusing the visa programs and undercutting our workforce to reap the rewards,” Pascrell said in a statement.

“Without the critical reforms our bill proposes, American workers will continue to be unfairly displaced and visa workers will continue to be mistreated — both of which are unacceptable,” he added.

Pascrell and Rohrabacher had introduced a similar version of this bill in 2010, which could not gain enough support in the Congress.

The duo of lawmakers added that the proposed legislation would aid in combatting visa fraud and abuse, provide protections for American workers and visa holders, require more transparency in the recruitment of foreign workers, and increase penalties for those who violate the law.

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Indian Americans jump into congressional races

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Indian Americans jump into congressional races | Diya TV News

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — The latest numbers show more Indian Americans than ever are running for Congress. In the last six years, nearly 80 candidates made it on the ballot, soaring far beyond numbers seen in past elections. Leading the wave are successful candidates from California, like Kamala Harris, who rose from a Senate seat to become vice president. Helping those numbers, Indians Americans are also one of the fastest growing ethnic groups in the country.  

Nisha Ramachandran is the new Executive Director of the Congressional Asian Pacific American Caucus, the first Indian American to serve in this role.  Ramachandran most recently managed her own consulting business focused on AAPI advocacy. She’ll be working closely with Congresswoman Judy Chu who chairs the group to further Asian American causes and initiatives. 

Indian Prime Minister Narendra Modi congratulated the people of Telangana after the Kakatiya Rudreshwara Ramappa Temple was inscribed as a World Heritage Site by UNESCO. The PM also urged citizens to visit the temple which was built during the rule of the Kakatiya dynasty.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue

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Blinken begins India visit, Afghanistan top issue | Diya TV News

NEW DELHI (Diya TV) — US secretary of state Antony Blinken begins his two-day India visit on Tuesday hoping to engage the nation on issues such as the Covid-19 response, human rights, and democracy. The American troop pullout in Afghanistan will also be a key issue. India is concerned about the implications of the withdrawal and the need for sustained pressure on Pakistan over issues like terror financing.

And India’s first medal at the Tokyo Olympics goes to Mirabai Chanu. She won silver in Women’s weight lifting. Chanu’s Olympic preparations were hindered by injuries and restrictions due to the COVID-19 pandemic but she still beat the odds and is being praised back home.

Tesla may open a factory in India. But CEO Elon Musk says only if the cars receive a good response in that marketplace. The company has already been hiring talent in the country. But Musk also hinted at some downsides to opening overseas, citing India’s import duty tax is the highest in the world for a large country.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign

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Shrina Kurani announces CA congressional campaign | Diya TV News

SACRAMENTO (Diya TV) — Indian American Democrat Shrina Kurani is running for Congress in California’s 42nd district and is preparing to take on 15-year Republican incumbent Ken Calvert. Kurani is a mechanical engineer and entrepreneur and says she’s running to create more sustainable jobs in her community and to take on the status quo in Washington DC.

More than 30 interfaith organizations in the U.S. are urging the State Department to sanction India and designate it as a country of “particular concern”. Their resolution claims that the Indian government is promoting policies that lead to the persecution of religious minorities, especially Muslims.
Despite growing concern over rising Covid-19 cases in Japan, the 2021 Tokyo Olympic opening ceremony got underway. India is sending its largest ever contingent to the Olympics with120 athletes competing across 85 events.  The country hopes to win medals for shooting, wrestling, boxing, archery and badminton.

Ravi Kapur contributed to this report.

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