LETTER FROM SENATOR KERRY TO THE MEMBERS OF USINPAC
November 13, 2003
I am delighted to have this opportunity to share my views and my
vision with the Indian-American community. The importance of
this election cannot be overstated. George Bush has taken our
country down the wrong path in nearly every conceivable way. As
president, I will make America safer, stronger and more
prosperous. I will nurture the important relationship between
the United States and India and ensure that the rights of
Indian-Americans are protected here at home.
I have long supported a closer relationship between the United
States and India -- democracies that share many ideals, and face
common challenges. I believe it is important, to both the United
States and to India, that the economic and military relationship
between our two countries continue to grow. As President, I will
continue the combined naval and special forces exercises our
governments have undertaken. The threat of international
terrorism affects both the United States and India. And the
fight against terrorism requires a mix of military, diplomatic
and law enforcement responses. I strongly believe that the
United States and India must continue to work together to
bolster our joint capacities. The development of bilateral and
multilateral working groups is crucial.
Bi-lateral engagement between India and Pakistan is important to
resolving the dispute in Kashmir, and to combating terrorism. I
believe the United States has the unique ability to help this
process along, and as President I intend to take full advantage
of the opportunity to do so.
Pakistan's support is important to operations in Afghanistan.
Yet it is my hope that Pakistan will always remember that our
goal is to have free nations with open societies in which there
is no place for terror or the support of terror. Pakistan has
much to gain from internal reform, and I stand eager to foster
and support this process.
Indian-Americans deserve a President who will fight to better
their lives here at home. In the wake of September 11, many
Indian Americans were the victims of hate crimes. I am an
original cosponsor of Federal hate crimes legislation. While
most state and local police and prosecutors are vigilant in
investigating and prosecuting hate crimes, we need a backup
system to assure that every hate crime is properly vindicated.
As President, I will ensure that the Hate Crimes Act is properly
enforced by the Justice Department and that there are
appropriate resources for the training of state and local
officials in identifying, solving and prosecuting these crimes
at the state level.
Many Indian Americans are understandably concerned about their
civil liberties. The Bush-Ashcroft Justice Department has thrown
basic civil liberties out the window in their efforts to make
Americans feel safer, while doing little to actually make them
safer. I favor giving law enforcement the tools it needs to
prevent, investigate and prosecute terrorism, but I also favor
assuring that there is appropriate Court and Congressional
oversight over the use of these powerful tools.
I believe that America needs immigration policies that are fair
and safe. The United States is a diverse nation built by people
from all parts of the world who came here because they believed
in freedom, democracy, and justice. I will work to cut the
backlog of applications pending with the Bureau for Citizenship
and Immigration Services, speed up the naturalization process
and reduce the wait for family visas and other important
matters. I believe that we should make family reunification the
cornerstone of our immigration system.
Please visit my website- www.johnkerry.com- to learn more about
my campaign. I would be deeply honored to have your support as I
fight to move our country forward.
John F. Kerry
LETTER FROM JOHN EDWARDS TO THE MEMBERS OF USINPAC
November 14, 2003
Dear Members of the USINPAC:
I applaud the work of the United States India Political Action
Committee (USINPAC) and believe that asking candidates to
respond to the concerns of your constituency is important.
America works best when each and every individual is engaged in
civic participation and I look forward to working with the
Indian American community.
The United States and India share many common strategic
interests. I agree with Prime Minister Vajpayee that as the
world's largest democracies, and with the values and principles
that we share, the U.S. and India are "natural allies." As
natural allies, we should continue to cooperate on a wide range
of defense issues, including joint military exercises and the
sale of military equipment when this enhances India's security
and contributes to regional stability.
As a strong supporter of the United Nations, I believe that the
United States must play an active role in that vital
international organization. We must help reform the United
Nations to make it more efficient, effective and reflective of
21 st Century challenges and realities. This includes reform of
the United Nations Security Council. As the United States and
India draw closer on all issues - including non-proliferation -
I would be prepared to support India's becoming a permanent
member of the United Nations Security Council.
As one of the world's largest and most important markets, India
is a prominent example of President Bush's misguided trade
priorities. Increased trade with India could create many jobs in
the United States. Yet instead of opening markets like India's,
President Bush is negotiating faulty deals with small
countries--deals that are unlikely to make a real difference for
our economy. Increased trade with India, in a context that
provides basic labor and environmental protections, could create
many jobs at home.
Promoting a strong U.S.-Indian relationship will be one of my
highest priorities. India is the world's largest democracy and
is in a critical part of the world, and the United States and
India share many common interests - and one of the most
important is fighting international terrorism. To fight
international terrorism, we should enhance our efforts to
cooperate in law enforcement, intelligence sharing, and
non-proliferation. We also need to continue to seek a permanent
end to the cross-border terrorism that India has suffered.
At the same time while I understand a need to keep Americans
safe, we cannot let this need take away our civil rights and
civil liberties. And we need to be careful about placing the
blame on a group of individuals at face value. I am against
racial profiling and targeting Indian Americans is wrong.
I understand that America cannot allow fear to motivate crimes
based on hate. Such crimes not only harm the victim and his or
her family; they also have devastating effects on the community
sharing the victim's traits. That is why I have co-sponsored
legislation to strengthen enforcement and penalties for hate
crimes. These laws will help provide needed federal assistance
to states that have extraordinary expenses in investigating and
prosecuting crimes based on race, color, religion, national
origin, gender, sexual orientation, or disability. Law
enforcement officials must be better trained to recognize and
prevent hate crimes, and criminals using children to commit hate
crimes should be subject to enhanced penalties.
We are a country founded on equality, and affirmative action
still plays an critical role in ensuring equal opportunity for
everyone. I filed a friend-of-the-court brief in support of
Michigan's admission policy in the recent Supreme Court case.
The Court upheld the constitutionality of affirmative action,
and recognized that schools have a compelling interest to
promote racial diversity. Affirmative action is about expanding
opportunities to everyone, and I support it.
I look forward to working with you all to build the America we
all want. "A place where all Americans have the opportunity to
rise as far as their hard work and potential can take them."
Please join me in this campaign and feel free to visit my
website at www.JohnEdwards2004.com.
LETTER FROM GOVERNOR DEAN TO THE MEMBERS OF USINPAC
October 9, 2003
A few months ago, I had the pleasure of joining members of the
US India Political Action Committee in Washington, DC, as part
of your Democratic Leadership Day. I would like to take this
opportunity to share with your entire membership why I am
running for President of the United States and how, as
President, I will address some of the issues that are important
to the Indian American community.
I am running for President to restore the ideal of the American
community. Protecting our civil rights is fundamental to this
ideal. Whether you define community by geography, ethnicity,
religion, or shared experience, our democracy is built on a
foundation of mutual respect and equal opportunity for all our
diverse populations. To accomplish this goal, I will appoint an
Attorney General who sees our constitution not as a document to
be manipulated, ignored, and violated, but recognizes and
respects it as the fabric that binds the American community
together. As President, I will implement measures to remove the
glass ceiling that impedes qualified men and women from
professional advancement because of race or national origin. I
will also direct my Attorney General to put an end to racial
profiling practices within the federal government and among
federally funded state and local law enforcement agencies. I
will call for the rollback of the Patriot Act and the overly
broad investigative and surveillance powers it gives to the
government. I will also oppose any effort to expand the powers
authorized under the Act.
America is an immigrant nation and as President, I will
recognize and respect the vital role that all immigrants,
including Indians, have played in building the American
community. For instance, I will work to end the backlogs in
processing visa applications and providing for family
reunifications by ensuring adequate funding for the Bureau of
Citizenship and Immigration Services. The promise of
legalization and citizenship must be backed up with properly
trained staff, reasonable regulations in accordance with the
letter and spirit of the law, and the funding necessary to
process applications in a fair and efficient manner.
We must restore America's role as an idealistic moral force in
the world. As President, I will strengthen America's security
and economic relationship with India, based on the strong
democratic ideals shared by our two countries, in order to build
a stable balance of power in Asia. I will actively seek to
prevent conflict between India and Pakistan by promoting
cooperation between the neighbors. I will work with Pakistan to
clamp down on militant infiltration into Kashmir and will seek
to move President Musharraf toward domestic and civil reform in
Pakistan as a critical component of our goal of establishing to
long-term stability in the region.
I hope we will remain engaged in a dialogue on these and many
other issues over the course of my Presidential campaign. I
encourage you to learn more about my candidacy at
www.DeanForAmerica.com. Jai Hind!
Howard Dean, M.D.
LETTER FROM SENATOR LIEBERMAN TO THE MEMBERS OF USINPAC
The strength of the United States has always come from its
diversity. Its diversity comes from its immigrant communities.
We are a strong nation, a unified nation, because of our
One of our nation's most important and fastest growing immigrant
communities is the Indian American Community. It is two million
plus strong and growing. Approximately 10% of the medical
students in this country are Indian American. One out of four
high tech businesses in the San Francisco Bay Area is Indian
American owned. The American landscape is full of Indian
entrepreneurs who create economic growth and opportunity as
small businessmen and -women. Indian Americans have the highest
per capita income of any ethnic minority at $68,000. In short,
Indian Americans are a success story.
It is time to translate that economic power into political
clout. Indian Americans must be in the forefront of shaping
domestic and international policy for the United States. They
have earned a seat at the policy table, and the country will be
better off for their participation in policy debates in
Washington and beyond.
For instance, Indian Americans have unique insight into
US-Indian relations. The community's desire to expand economic
relations, particularly trade could be a win/win situation for
both nations. The community's desire to bolster US-Indian
strategic relations is also an important contribution,
particularly as it relates to non-proliferation and
anti-terrorism issues. It is also time to seriously consider
increasing the permanent membership of the United Nations
Security Council. As the world's largest democracy, India should
be a priority candidate for a permanent seat.
But beyond international relations, we must look to improve
things domestically for Indian Americans. Of course, we must
fight any and all discrimination against Indian Americans
wherever we may find it. But that is not enough. We must also
actively create opportunities for Indian Americans to serve in
high level positions in government. As President, I will see
that this is the case.
I also oppose any efforts to eliminate or diminish the H1-B visa
program. Why do we want to limit or otherwise handicap a
community that has made such significant and important
contributions to this country? It is counter-intuitive and
In closing, my Administration will be proactive in working with
the Indian American community on international and domestic
issues. I will make certain that Indian Americans have positions
of responsibility in my Administration because it is good for
our country, and it is the right thing to do.
LETTER FROM WESLEY K. CLARK TO THE MEMBERS OF USINPAC
November 20, 2003
Greetings USINPAC members:
Thank you for inviting me to share my views with you. I believe
America's true strength lies in its diversity, and the Indian-
American community is integral to the enrichment and prosperity
of this country. I commend the United States India Political
Action Committee (USINPAC) for being engaged in the kind of
public discourse that makes America great.
The relationship between the U.S. and India is rooted in our
common democratic ideals-and it grows stronger everyday. As
President I will be committed to addressing the wide range of
issues important to the Indian-American community.
The 2004 presidential election will determine the path our
country will follow on a variety of issues directly affecting
the Indian-American community. With the implementation of the
Patriot Act this administration has created an atmosphere where
many Americans are afraid to speak their minds. Many
Indian-Americans have felt the brunt of the administration's
radical vision of America-in which law abiding citizens are
afraid of a government they thought was supposed to protect
them, not harass them. I will work tirelessly to stamp out
racial profiling and hate crimes; they simply cannot be
As President, I will continue to strengthen our relationship
with India by encouraging trade and bilateral communication.
India is also an important partner in the global fight against
Unlike the Bush Administration, I believe in an international
system in which nations around the globe come together to
address common security concerns. I welcome India's cooperation
in creating a world in which freedom and democracy reign.
India makes many important contributions to the international
system, but it is important that India sign and ratify the
treaty on the Non-Proliferation of Nuclear Weapons (NPT). India
and Pakistan must devote more energy to creating a stable
region, particularly as it relates to avoiding a nuclear-armed
conflict. My record shows that I have been successful in
bringing opposing communities together and I will encourage
dialogue between the two countries in order to advance peaceful
Throughout history, immigrants have been America's lifeblood.
With the exception of the Native Americans among us, we are all
immigrants. A carefully calibrated H-1 visa program allows our
nation to continue to benefit from the skills of the global
community. Immigration and the ability to harness the talents of
a connected worlds, is crucial to our economic, cultural and
political progression. I'm proud to acknowledge that India has
been a vibrant source of talent for America.
We cannot have a great nation without the leadership of our very
best - of all backgrounds. A commitment to diversity ensures
that future leaders who might otherwise never get a chance are
brought to the forefront. That's why Americans - all Americans -
benefit from the contributions of Indian Americans. I am a
strong believer in the principles of Affirmative Action, and as
President, I will make sure that my Cabinet truly reflects
We still have to wait a year before we can change our
leadership. I have faith that the majority of Americans will
stand up for civil liberties, a vibrant economy, and global
security. Our country cannot endure the effects of the Bush
Administration for four more years. We must ensure that each of
us comes out to elect a new leader. I hope that I can be that
leader. I know that I will be able to put this country back on
the right track for all Americans. I ask for your support in
achieving our common goals. Together we can revive the America
of three years ago - one that values prosperity, progress and
tolerance. I look forward to working with each of you to achieve
Wesley K. Clark
FROM CONGRESSMAN DICK GEPHARDT TO THE MEMBERS OF USINPAC
October 26, 2003
I applaud the work of the United States India Political Action
Committee (USINPAC), and appreciate the opportunity to share my
views with you. Since its inception, USINPAC has encouraged
Indian-Americans to become politically active and strengthened
Indian-American communications at the federal, state and local
levels. In May of this year, I was honored to speak with members
of USINPAC during their Democratic Leadership Day to discuss
issues that impact Indian-American communities.
The United States and India have formed a bond over the years
that reflect our common interests. Since I was elected to
Congress 27 years ago, I have always been committed to issues
that better the lives of Indians and Indian-Americans. I welcome
the opportunity to share with you my views and strong record on
The 2004 presidential race will be pivotal for all members of
the Indian and Indian-American communities. The current
administration has paid little attention to the concerns of
Indian-Americans who have been the victims of hate crimes and
other civil rights violations and has treated the interest of
India as an afterthought of U.S. foreign policy in the region.
As President, I would further strengthen the relationship
between our nations, build on our common pluralistic and
democratic traditions, expand economic opportunities, and
continue our partnership in the war on terror, while ensuring
that Indian-Americans have their civil rights and civil
As a member of the Congressional Caucus on India and
Indian-Americans, I have worked hard to implement policies to
help strengthen the Indian-American community throughout the
United States and identify approaches to expand discussions
between India and the United States. In 1999, I led a bipartisan
delegation, including members of the Caucus, to India to rebuild
and promote ongoing dialogues with Indian leaders. I took this
opportunity to commend the Indian government for its economic
reforms following its 1997 nuclear test and reaffirm the
importance of our bilateral relations.
To ensure that India could continue its economic reforms of the
late 1990's, I urged President Clinton to use certain
authorities that, with my leadership, Congress granted him in
1998 to ease economic sanctions against India. I have also
consistently opposed efforts to reduce U.S. assistance to India.
I have taken efforts to make the United States a better place to
live and work for the Indian-American community.
In 2000, I
negotiated an agreement to increase the number of H-1B visas
issued by the United States. I also won bipartisan support for
the H-1B visa increase by including worker-training funds in the
legislation. This was a huge victory for Indians seeking to come
to the United States to share their tremendous talents.
In addition, I have consistently supported initiatives to help
expand the numerous small businesses owned by Indian-Americans.
These initiatives have included efforts to pass a reasonable
budget to reduce interest rates, create a strong climate for
small business investment, and proposals to allow small
businesses to offer benefits to remain competitive in attracting
Unfortunately, many immigrant communities, including
Indian-Americans, have been the targets of hate crimes,
especially since the September 11th attacks. As Democratic
Leader, I guided hate crimes legislation to the House floor
where it passed despite opposition from the Republican majority.
The legislation would allow prosecution of hate crimes under
federal law, and give local law enforcement the expanded tools
to prevent and prosecute hate crimes. I am also a leading
cosponsor of similar legislation in the 108th Congress.
As Democratic Leader, and again this year, I unveiled the Earned
Legalization and Family Unification Act, legislation that would
allow more Indians and their families to achieve the American
dream. This measure would promote family unification by
increasing the number of visas available to qualified family
members of United States citizen, and provide earned
legalization to hardworking undocumented immigrants.
To further illustrate my consistent leadership on issues
impacting India and Indian-Americans, I was honored to recently
receive the "Outstanding and Inspiring Leadership Award" from
the Indian government on this year's India Independence Day in
recognition of my hard work on behalf of Indians and
In light of the turbulent times throughout the world, the
relationship between the United State and India is more
important than ever. As president, I will continue to strengthen
this relationship by promoting policies that further our common
interests. You can learn more about me and my bold and
comprehensive ideas for our nation by visiting my web site at
Congressman Richard A. Gephardt