A 'team' of five former US Ambassadors to India have requested that Congress remove Indian-specific immigration laws in the latest reform. They believe that continuation of these "discriminatory provisions" will impact the relationship between both the US and India poorly.
The open letter to Congress detailed that a reform would need to explore and "appreciate" the mutual benefit of deepening the bilateral partnership between the two countries, which they believe is crucial for both the US and Indian economy.Meeting with Obama and Indian Prime Minister
This letter has been filed in good time ahead of the meeting between US President Obama and Indian Prime Minister Manmohan Singh on the 27th September. The five former Ambassadors believe that could be a hot topic of conversation, and that it will make Congress take a second look at the provisions set out in the reform.
The five Ambassadors have made it rather clear in their communications that they feel the Comprehensive Immigration Reform Legislation that has passed the US Senate already 'discriminates' against those who want to work for a US company remotely from India.Good news for Indian IT companies?
They also have made it very clear that there are differences between US providers of IT services and Indian IT companies. At the moment, there are many companies and US corporations alike that source their work from India. The bill currently states that Indian IT companies could be blocked from providing their services to US companies, which could cause a whole number of issues.
The envoys argued that they believed that if the reform was passed without any additional changes it would look as though the US and India had 'non-productive relations', which is clearly not the case. Therefore, they questioned the validity of the inclusion of some of the potential changes. They finished the letter by stating that if the bill was passed without any further changes the approach could cause issues and a sort of 'tit for tat' retaliation, which would ultimately damage an important relationship between a superpower and one of the most exciting emerging markets in the world.
While the Bill has been passed at Senate level, it is now a pending House Bill, which can be changed before it is reviewed further. It seems like the crunch meetings between Obama and Singh at the end of September will play an important role in any potential changes.