E7: Biggest Indian American Political Event Evah

Indian American politicians are starting to make an impact at the highest level of government, and organizations are building up in support.

Salas went to an Indian American Impact Fund event in Washington, DC that was billed as the largest collection of Indian American electeds and candidates in the history of America. Around 90 politicians were present, and the total audience was close to 200. All 5 Indian American US Congress people (Kamala Harris, Pramila Jayapal, Ami Bera, Ro Khanna, and Raja Krishnamoorthi) had featured speeches, as did “honorary desi” Cory Booker.

Salas and Ragz used the occasion to recap their own history and involvement in South Asian American organizations since college.

YouTube videos of featured speakers: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UC2oIKE1lJb6TgOacuvxa7Hw/videos

#6 – Trudeau’s mess in India

Ragz and Salas discuss Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s trip to India. While it was covered mostly from a humorous perspective in the US, it had some serious geopolitical repercussions. Trudeau’s invite of a Sikh separatist with a violent past to a state dinner made him persona non grata for much of his time in India. This was particularly difficult for the presiding Hindu nationalist party (BJP) to look past. We break down the situation and speculate on the cause of Trudeau’s cluelessness.

But first Ragz and Salas talk about FCC Chairman Ajit Pai : his background, how he sees current position, and debate his recent actions rolling back net neutrality.

Hosted by Raghav (@brwnchnl on youtube) and Salas (@salasks on twitter)

E5: Ro Khanna, Raj Shah and Immigration

Salas and Raghav discuss a couple of South Asian American leaders and their role in the immigration debate (esp H1-Bs and “chain migration”): progressive Congressman Ro Khanna (yay!) and conservative White House spokesman Raj Shah (boo!).

Because of Salas’s liberal stance and Raghav’s recent shift from a libertarian outlook towards a more progressive one, they have a clear favorite.

Continue reading E5: Ro Khanna, Raj Shah and Immigration

Rohingya, Puerto Rico, Jagmeet Singh

We get into some tough topics, discussing the current crisis in Myanamar with the genocide of the Rohingya Muslims and how it got to this point. For our second topic, we talk about the effects of the colonial model, how it creates second class citizens, and the effects on Puerto Rico.

After these two big, tragic topics we change tones and end on a celebratory note. Jagmeet Singh has made history in Canada, as the first person of color to lead a major party.

Hosted by Raghav (@brwnchnl) and Salas (@salasks)

What Explains the Rise of the Desi Right in America?

South Asians are the top minority in the Trump White House- with Ajit Pai, Seema Verma, and Nikki Haley among the most prominent.
Shalabh Kumar was one of Trump’s “mega donors” – donating almost $1 million to Trump, getting Trump to mimic Modi’s famous “Ab Ki Baar Trump Sarkaar” line.
And finally, there were a number of well publicized Hindu rallies/ceremonies in Trump’s honor in India and at least 1 in America.

This is true even as roughly 75-80% of South Asians vote Democrat.

Salas and Ragz give brainstorm some ideas as to why this might be the case.

Continue reading What Explains the Rise of the Desi Right in America?

H1-B sponsors hire many, but pay only a little

This article backs up Ragz’s point from our last podcast about H1-B sponsors flooding the lottery trying to get cheap labor for engineering slots.

US-based companies like Apple, Microsoft, Google are paying significantly more than Indian-based companies like Cognizant and Tata for H1-B visa holders. May be just because the US-based companies are subcontracting out a lot of work. So though they look better on paper in terms of pay to H1-B holders, this may not bear in reality.

“You don’t have a vote”: On the fate of H1-Bs and Qatar

Raghav and Salas talk about the fate of the H1B visa under the Trump presidency. And what current H1B visa holders face in trying to make their way in America with limited rights.

We also break down the Saudi Arabian blockade of Qatar and how it affects South Asians living in the region. On this, Raghav has some first hand experience.

For more Samosa Caucus, visit : http://samosacaucus.com
Find Ragz online : @brwnchnl
Find Salas online: @salasks

Incoming Fresh(wo)man Inspired by Sen Kamala Harris

“Having Sen Harris as an example of what it means to be the living, breathing product of such a prestigious historically black institution fills me with pride and confidence as I prepare to attend Howard in the fall.”