In a show of his support for legal immigration, US President Donald Trump dramatically welcomed an Indian software developer to “the great American family of citizens” in a White House ceremony during the Republican National Convention.
He introduced Sundari Narayanan “a talented software developer” who is a “phenomenal success” after she was sworn-in as a citizen.
Trump said that Narayanan had been in the US for 13 years and she and her husband have “two beautiful, wonderful children”.
Clad in a bright pink sari with bright gold border, she added a dash of colour to the citizenship ceremony in which Acting Homeland Security Secretary Chad Wolf administered the oath of office to her and to four others. The others were from Bolivia, Lebanon, Sudan, and Ghana.
They showed the changing face of America with non-White immigrants of different religions from around the world.
Being subject to criticism by Democrats, the president used the ceremony to emphasise show his support for legal immigration.
“You followed the rules, you obeyed the laws, you learned your history, embraced our values and proved yourselves to be men and women of the highest integrity,” he said.
Later in the convention session, another immigrant took the stage to praise Trump. It was the First Lady Melania Trump, who immigrated from Slovenia and became a US citizen in 2006.
She recalled how she had studied for the citizenship test and became a citizen through “hard work and determination”.
Trump has taken a hardline on illegal immigration, building a wall on the southern border to stop migrants and deporting illegal immigrants, especially those with criminal backgrounds. He has also temporarily stopped the granting of green cards – or immigrant visas – and H1-B professional work visas, a bulk of which is acquired by Indians.
But the president has also proposed a reform of the immigration to make it merit-based and to break the long waits for it, and changing the way the H1-B visas are granted.
During the presidential election campaign, Trump and his supporters have made illegal immigration a key issue and accused Joe Biden of advocating a policy of open borders.