USINPAC has a lot to be proud of in just 10 years.
Our accomplishments are many, and their impact, substantial!
USINPAC has had a number of notable achievements. Its efforts have proven productive for the Indian-American community and India in areas ranging from the U.S. foreign policy to domestic immigration policy. By building sophisticated relationships on Capitol Hill and in state capitals, USINPAC has consistently and successfully advocated for a better awareness of the issues facing the Indian-American community.
Strengthening the U.S. India Strategic Alliance
USINPAC's grassroots advocacy campaign, participation in Congressional Hearings and high-level briefings, regular meetings with key lawmakers and senior staff, educating and building awareness on a diverse range of issues, providing guidance in a crisis, acting as the go-to resource with a consistent message, and 24/7 Washington presence have given it some noteworthy accomplishments over the last eight years. These include:
- US-India Civilian Nuclear Cooperation: Advocacy for the historic passage of the 2006 "Hyde Amendment" to the Atomic Energy Cooperation Act and the 2008 Congressional approval of the US-India 123 Agreement enabling US-India cooperation in civilian nuclear-energy trade
- US-India Trade: Advocacy for the acceleration of US-India trade, including the 2007 re-instatement of favorable GSP tariff preferences for Indian jewelry imports to the US
- US-India Defense Cooperation: Support of expanded US-India defense cooperation and U.S. defense sales to India in 2005, 2006, 2007, and 2008
- Launch U.S. Senate Caucus: With the support of USINPAC and its highly-active membership base, the U.S. Senate Caucus on India and Indian-Americans was officially launched on April 29, 2004, with Caucus Co-Chairs Senators Hillary Clinton (D-NY) and John Cornyn (R-Texas) and thirty-five U.S. Senators as members of the Caucus
Education and Awareness Campaign in Washington: USINPAC - still the ONLY political action committee to represent the Indian-American grassroots in the nation's capitol - meets with key lawmakers on a daily basis to educate and update them on the issues, concerns, accomplishments of the members of the community and the demographic and socio-economic profile of Indian-American voters in key Congressional districts nationwide.
Leadership and Increased Recognition for Indian-Americans
The USINPAC has become synonymous on Capitol Hill and in the mainstream press as the "Indian-American Lobby" in Washington DC.
- Political Contribution: Between 2002 and 2008, the USINPAC consistently supported a wide range of political candidates, incumbents, and challengers, for federal and state offices who support USINPAC's legislative and political issue-platform.
- USINPAC is a bipartisan PAC and has supported Democratic and Republican Members of Congress with campaign contributions and campaign volunteers.
- USINPAC has supported like-minded Members of Congress who serve in Congressional Districts with a high concentration of Indian American voters.
- USINPAC has supported like-minded Members of Congress who serve on key Congressional Committees with impact on issues important to the Indian-American voters.
- Support Indian-Americans in Public Office: Between 2002-2008, the USINPAC supported Indian-American candidates for elected office and political appointment at both the federal and state levels:
- Anti-India or Anti-Indian-American Rhetorics by Washington Officials: Between 2002 and 2008, the USINPAC served as a singular voice with a wide national press coverage - protesting on behalf of the Indian-American community against derogatory and racist remarks by public officials against Indian-Americans based on race or religion.
- Hate-Crime Legislation: In 2004, the USINPAC advocated in favor of passage of the Local Law Enforcement Enhancement Act (LLEEA), which was the first major expansion of a 1968 statute that provides for federal prosecution of crimes based on race, color, religion, or national origin. Further USINPAC diligently worked to bring the Indian-American community together to support this issue and hosted a round-table discussion on Hate Crimes, in cooperation with SMART, ADL, and IACPA.
- 2004 Presidential Campaigns: In 2004, the USINPAC and its membership directly interfaced with the Kerry-Edwards presidential campaign and the Bush-Cheney presidential campaign in order to build and awareness of the issues and concerns of the Indian-American voters, supported fundraisers by its members, and actively placed campaign volunteers in battleground States.
- 2008 Presidential Campaigns: In 2008, the USINPAC and its membership directly interfaced with all presidential candidates during the election season (including Barack Obama, Joe Biden, Hillary Clinton, Mitt Romney, John McCain, and Christopher Dodd) in order to build an awareness of the issues and concerns of the Indian-American voters, supported fundraisers by its members, and actively placed campaign volunteers in battleground States.
Advocating for Favorable Immigration Policy
The USINPAC is a leading watchdog and advocate for legal immigration policies and laws that favor strong growth in American business productivity and innovation and is also pro-family. It has participated in Congressional Hearings and conducted extensive briefings with the Senate and House Judiciary Committees.
- H-1B Visa Program: Between 2003 and 2008, USINPAC educated lawmakers on the critical need for the H-1B Visa program to maintain a strong and competitive workforce in America, particularly for small businesses. In 2004 & 2005, USINPAC advocated against a bill introduced by Congressman Tom Tancredo to eliminate the H-1B visa program and worked to increase the annual H-1B visa cap. Due to USINPAC's efforts, this bill and other similar bills have failed to gain traction in Congress.
- Expedite Visa Backlog: Between 2002 and 2008, USINPAC consistently educated lawmakers on the extreme visa backlogs in India and the need to increasing U.S. consular affairs staffing to remedy the visa backlogs in India. USINPAC's efforts led to an increase in the U.S. Embassy personnel in India and the appropriation of Congressional funding to open a new U.S. Consulate office in Hyderabad.
- Advocacy before the Department of Homeland Security: USINPAC's briefing and advocacy with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security led that agency to suspend a provision of Homeland Security Department's Special Registration Program (the National Security Entry-Exit Registration System or "NSEERS") for Indian Citizens.
Anti-terrorism and Homeland Security Policy Development Process
- US Congressional Response to the Mumbai Terror Attacks: In the immediate aftermath of the November 2008 terror attacks in Mumbai, USINPAC represented the Indian-American community as a single voice in Washington when it was called upon to brief lawmakers on the developing crisis in the heart of India's financial center. USINPAC'S briefings led to the successful passage of a resolution on the floor of the House of Representatives.
- Follow-Up to Mumbai Attack Congressional Resolution: USINPAC launched an online petition, which was signed by more than 16,000 people endorsing USINPAC's advocacy before the U.S. Congress to condition the U.S. government's economic and military aid to Pakistan on that country's cooperation on apprehending and prosecuting the terrorist leaders in Pakistan responsible for the Mumbai attacks.
- Ongoing Education on the Issue of Pakistani Cross-Border Terrorism into India: Between 2002 and 2008, the USINPAC regularly briefed key lawmakers on the cross-border Jihadi terrorism emanating from Pakistan into India. USINPAC has consistently advocated the need to condition economic and military aid to Pakistan on that country's cooperation on shutting down terrorist camps in Pakistani territory, including Pakistan occupied Kashmir (PoK). USINPAC further advocated a U.S. government-led due diligence of the Pakistan Government's nuclear operated by A.Q. Khan, which resulted in proliferation to rogue countries such as Libya, North Korea, and Iran. Rather than channeling aid to the Pakistani Government, USINPAC has strongly advocated for increased economic aid to Pakistan via non-governmental organizations that support political and economic reform with the specific objective of increasing Pakistani economic integration with the international community of nations. USINPAC has further supported economic aid via NGOs for educational reform directed at women and to improve freedom of speech and religion in that country.
- In 2004 & 2005, USINPAC's briefings of lawmakers led the passage of Congressional resolutions, which for the first time acknowledged Pakistan's support for Jihadi terrorism against India, particularly in the Indian State of Jammu & Kashmir.
- In 2004, USINPAC's advocacy led the U.S. House of Representatives requiring the CIA to submit a report demonstrating Pakistani cooperation on safeguarding against and combating WMD proliferation, identifying the size and stockpile of Pakistani fissile materials and Pakistani efforts to combat terrorism, dismantle terrorist camps, and strengthen democratic institutions.
- In 2004 & early 2005, USINPAC's advocacy led to a Congressional letter co-signed by the House India Caucus Co-Chairs Ileana Ros-Lehtinen and Gary Ackerman to President George W. Bush protesting the sale of F-16s to Pakistan.
- In 2003, USINPAC's advocacy led to the passage of a Congressional resolution requesting the Bush Administration to disclose to Congress the extent to which Pakistan has fulfilled its commitment to clamp down on cross-border terrorism, shut down terrorist camps in Pakistan-held Kashmir, and halt the proliferation of nuclear-weapons technology to rogue states and terrorists.
Small Business and Entrepreneurship Advocacy
USINPAC is a unique and well-recognized voice on Capitol Hill on behalf of small businesses owned by Indian-Americans. USINPAC has participated in Congressional Hearings and conducted extensive briefings with the Senate and House Small Business Committees.
- USINPAC's advocacy led to the focus on bundling of contracts and passage of rules for the unbundling of federal contracts and preserved the annual federal funding for small business loan programs, including the 7(a) loan program.
- Every year USINPAC organizes annual and quarterly delegations of Indian-American business and community leaders to India. The delegation participates in meetings with leading business and political newsmakers in India, issue-specific workshops and networking events. The objective of the USINPAC delegation is to foster greater understanding between the Indian-American community and their counterparts in India, and to facilitate greater business ties between the United States and India.
- USINPAC regularly organizes CIO meetings with small business owners in the Indian American community to provide them with information on budget priorities for the U.S. Federal IT spending. Spekaers in the past years have been CIO's of the Department of Defense, Department of Energy, Veterans Affairs, HHS, HUD, DHS, and CIOs from various government agencies.
Global Health Policy
The USINPAC has been singular in its efforts to raise an awareness on Capitol Hill and at the State Department regarding global-health concerns, which impact India and US-India trade. USINPAC has participated in Congressional Hearings, conducted briefings with key lawmakers and staff, and hosted Capitol Hill conferences.
- From 2004 to 2007, USINPAC advocated the passage of Congressional legislation appropriating $29.9 million foreign-aid funding in fiscal year 2007 under the State Department's PEPFAR program to fight the spread of HIV/AIDS.
- In 2004, USINPAC organized a briefing on the U.S. and Global Response to HIV/AIDS in India where eminent AIDS experts and panelists from international organizations and the Indian-American community participated. This was part of USINPAC's AIDS India Initiative.
- In a policy paper released thereafter, the USINPAC recommended that the U.S. make fighting the HIV/AIDS epidemic in India a foreign-policy priority. The detailed policy paper can be found here.
- Every year between 2005 and 2010, the USINPAC participated in legislative briefings to raise an awareness about the lack of access to clean drinking water in India. USINPAC also provided testimony in Congressional Hearings on this subject.