The US Commission on International Religious Freedom (USCIRF) has proposed sanctions against the Union Home Minister, Mr. Amit Shah, and other principal leadership if the Rajya Sabha also passed the Citizenship (Amendment) Bill (CAB).
'The CAB is a dangerous turn in the wrong direction; it runs counter to India’s rich history of secular pluralism and the Indian Constitution, which guarantees equality before the law regardless of faith,' noted the Commission in a release shortly after the Lok Sabha passed CAB on Monday midnight.
The USCIRF consists of appointees by the US President, Mr. Donald Trump, and majority and minority leaders of both Houses of the US Congress. As was the case with the Magnitsky Sanctions against Russia- and Hong Kong-related sanctions against China, its recommendations ran close to the US foreign policy. But they have also diverged. In cases such as Turkey’s incursion into Kurd-held areas in Syria, USCIRF’s dissent had no impact on US foreign policy.
The statement noted that CAB was 'originally introduced' by Mr. Shah in the Lok Sabha and was 'deeply troubled' by its 'religion criterion', a reference to the proposed exclusion of Muslim undocumented migrants from being granted citizenship. In this respect, the USCIRF said CAB 'enshrines a pathway to citizenship for immigrants that specifically excludes Muslims, setting a legal criterion for citizenship based on religion.'
It feared that in conjunction with the ongoing National Register of Citizens (NRC) process in Assam and the nationwide NRC that 'the Home Minister seeks to propose', the Indian government is creating a religious test for Indian citizenship that would strip millions of Muslims of citizenship.