The US House foreign affairs committee has raised concerns over the passage of the Citizenship Amendment Bill in Lok Sabha, stating that any religious test for citizenship may undermine the basic tenet of democratic values of a nation.
“Religious pluralism is central to the foundations of both India and the United States and is one of our core shared values. Any religious test for citizenship undermines this most basic democratic tenet,” the committee reacted after the passage of the bill.
The historic legislation, passed with a majority of 311 votes against 80 votes, seeks to grant Indian citizenship to non-Muslim refugees from Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Afghanistan.
The debate on the same lasted for seven hours.
Through this Bill, Indian citizenship will be provided to the members of Hindu, Sikh, Buddhist, Jain, Parsi and Christian communities, who have come from the three countries to India till December 31, 2014, to put an end to them being treated as illegal immigrants in the country.
The US Commission on International Religious Freedom further in a statement reiterated similar concerns over the legislation saying, “The Bill enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion.”
Next, the bill will be tabled in Rajya Sabha where the NDA will require the support of at least 123 MPs in the 245-member house.