Who is Kamala Harris? Tracing her Indian origins
New Delhi, Aug 12: Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden has named Indian-origin senator Kamala Harris as his Vice-Presidential running mate, making history by selecting the first black woman to compete on a major party''s presidential ticket.
Harris, 55, whose father is an African from Jamaica and mother an Indian, is currently the US Senator from California and often has been described as a trailblazer by former president Barack Obama.
She is the daughter of Shyamala Gopalan Harris, who hails from Chennai. Her mother, a cancer researcher passed away in 2009. Her father Donald Harris teaches at the Stanford University. Her parents separated when she and her sister Maya Harris were very young.
She and her sister were named Kamala and Maya to connect their heritage with their identities
- Selection of Kamala Harris hailed by Indian-American groups
- Trump says he is surprised that Biden picked Kamala Harris
- Biden selects Kamala Harris as running mate
- Strengthening relations with India top priority if I win says Joe Biden
A first term Democratic Senator from California, Harris had launched her presidential campaign in January 2019.
After initial few months, her campaign could not take off and by the end of the year, she withdrew from the race.
Early this year, she endorsed Biden for presidency and during the primaries and pre-primary season, she did not have a good relationship with Biden.
The two often clashed including the one CNN debate last year.
The two leaders appear to have mend their ways in the last few months.
Biden started appreciating her skills. Harris raised millions of dollars for Biden campaign.
Daughter of an Indian mother and a Jamaican father, Harris has known many firsts. She has been a county district attorney; the district attorney for San Francisco - the first woman and first African-American and Indian-origin to be elected to the position.
She was also the first female African-American and Indian-origin to become California's attorney general. Harris became the first Indian-origin and second African-American woman to join the Senate, winning the California seat vacated by Senator Barbara Boxer, who retired after 24 years.
Harris held the first event of her 2020 presidential campaign in Washington on the landmark campus of Howard University, from which Harris earned an undergraduate degree in 1986.
Criminal justice and legal rights were central to her campaign themes.
"Justice is on the ballot when we talk about health care justice, reproductive freedoms justice, economic justice, criminal justice, you know, justice in terms of equal pay for women," Harris said on PBS Newshour in October.
Harris has security-focused committee assignments, including the Judiciary Committee, the Intelligence Committee, the Homeland Security and the Governmental Affairs Committee.
She also has a seat on the Budget Committee. As a member of Intelligence, sheb has taken part in the multi-year investigation of Russian efforts to interfere in the 2016 US presidential election.
Political pundits say that she would perform much better in the vice presidential debate against Vice President Mike Pence.
She has in the past expressed support for the Clean Power Plan, a federal regulation aimed at reducing carbon pollution from power plants and creating more clean energy jobs.
While she supports broader immigration overhaul legislation, she also contends that the deferred action for immigration enforcement against some immigrants could be substantially expanded even without congressional action.
Harris batted for H-4 work visas which mainly impacted Indian spouses.
During her presidential bid, she advocated for a proposal to direct the Department of Homeland Security to provide retroactive work authorisation for immigrants who came to the United States as children often referred to as Dreamers.
Harris was born in Oakland and grew up in Berkeley. After her parents divorced, she spent her high school years living in French-speaking Canada - her mother was teaching at McGill University in Montreal.
In 2010, Harris became the first black woman to be elected as California''s Attorney General, overseeing the country's second largest Justice Department, only behind the US Department of Justice.
In this capacity, she managed a USD 735 million budget and oversaw more than 4,800 attorneys and other employees.
As California Attorney General, Kamala fought for families and won a USD20 billion settlement for California homeowners against big banks that were unfairly foreclosing on homes.
"Kamala worked to protect Obamacare, helped win marriage equality for all, defended California's landmark climate change law and won a USD 1.1 billion settlement against a for-profit education company that scammed students and veterans. Kamala also fought for California communities and prosecuted transnational gangs who drove human trafficking, gun smuggling and drug rings," it said.