Washington, November 8 (NIA): Raja Krishnamoorthi (43) is the first Tamil to run for the US Congress. A Democrat, he is standing for the US House of Representatives from the 8th district of Illinois.
Born in New Delhi Krishnamoorthi’s family moved to Buffalo, New York, when he was three months old, so that his father could attend graduate school. They lived in public housing and used food stamps. His father became a Professor at Bradley University. Krishnamoorthi attended Princeton University, where he earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Mechanical Engineering. He then received a Jusris Doctor from Harward Law School.
Unlike other Tamils of Indian origin in the US, Krishnamoorthi took to business. He is currently, President, Sivananthan Labs & Episolar Inc. ,a small businesses that develop and sell products in the national security and renewable energy industries.
Following law school, Krishnamoorthi, better known as “Raja”, clerked for a federal judge in Chicago, served as issues director for Barack Obama’s successful United States Senate campaign in 2004. Raja is co-founder of InSPIRE, a non-profit organization that trains Illinois students and veterans in solar technology. Raja was Vice-Chairman of Illinois Innovation Council, which promotes innovative technologies supporting economic growth and job creation.
Raja served as Deputy Treasurer of Illinois, and helped revamp the state’s unclaimed property system by using technology to increase the amount of property returned to taxpayers and cut the program’s costs. He helped run Illinois’ technology venture capital fund, which supported the creation of hundreds of good-paying jobs in Illinois. In 2006, Raja was appointed by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to serve as Special Assistant Attorney General in her Public Integrity Unit. Raja also served as a member of the Illinois Housing Development Authority, where he was Chairman of the Audit Committee.
On his policy Raja said: “ We cannot afford to balance the budget on the backs of America’s middle class and seniors, and must do what it takes to strengthen Social Security and Medicare, including enabling the government to negotiate the price of prescription drugs.”
“I would work to end special interest handouts and use the proceeds to invest in a stronger economy. To jumpstart small businesses, I would end the carried interest loophole, a tax giveaway to billionaires, and use those funds to increase SBA loan guarantees for entrepreneurs, increase tax credits for business expenses, and provide student loan forgiveness to students who start businesses.”
would end the oil depletion allowance, a subsidy for oil companies, to start an infrastructure bank to fully fund projects here in the 8th District including the Elgin-O’Hare Expressway extension and Metra Star line to improve our infrastructure and spur local economic growth.”
“I would work to close the gender gap by ensuring equal work for equal pay for women, and help working families afford college education for their children by creating a tax credit to offset tuition payments and expanding Pell Grants for low income families.”
On Immigration he said: “As an immigrant, I am grateful for the tremendous opportunities that this great nation has afforded me and my family. I am also aware of the ongoing challenges that immigrants confront, and understand that respecting law and borders is essential for keeping America strong.”
“A porous border is a danger to America’s national security, the people who live near it and to those who cross it. I strongly support screening all visitors and potential immigrants thoroughly to prevent bad actors from entering the country.”
“We need a realistic and humane way of regularizing the status of millions of undocumented immigrants already in the United States. Individuals who have not committed any crimes, have learned English, and paid their back-taxes along with a fine for the violation of immigration laws, should be able to apply for legal resident status and eventually a pathway to citizenship. I support the DREAM Act to provide a path to citizenship for young people who have taken important steps in serving our country or becoming outstanding citizens.”
On encourage entrepreneurial immigrants he said: “ Entrepreneurs who secured investment to start a business should be granted a temporary visa to come to the US to create jobs. Graduate students with post-graduate degrees in STEM should be allowed to remain in the U.S. if they have employment in areas where there is a shortage of local technical talent, or if they start thriving businesses that hire other Americans.”
On the Indian Diaspora in the US political system, he told The New Indian Express: “ I am pleased that more and more Indian-American candidates are running for office, and we are well positioned to expand our numbers in U.S. Congress this year. But Indian-Americans must continue to become more politically and civically involved. That means voting every election up and down the ballot; volunteering for and donating to candidates running for office that represent their values; and, of course, running for office themselves.”
On relations with India, he said: “Hillary Clinton would foster stronger alliances around the world including with India, the world’s largest democracy.
On American military involvement overseas he said: “ The U.S. should protect its national interests and those of its allies while promoting democracy and human rights abroad. Wherever possible, we should act in concert with our allies, and give them the training and support to combat terrorism in their regions.”
“I oppose an adventurist foreign policy such as the one that got us into Iraq, and I believe we must avoid mission creep such as the long-running war in Afghanistan, which started as a counter-terrorism mission that gradually morphed into an impossible nation-building exercise.”
On internal threat to the US, he said: “ Any effort to promote peace and stability must include steps to thwart terrorism at home. We must make it harder for suspected terrorists and criminals to buy guns by closing the no-fly loophole, and banning assault weapons. Further, we must crack down on internet communications that draw recruits for radical groups and facilitate attacks on American soil.”
On the US as a whole, Krishnamoorthi said: “ The United States is the greatest country the world has known, and you can go far if you Dream Big, Think Big and Act Big.”