House Republicans visit Indian leader banned from entering US after race riots

Reps. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.), Cathy McMorris RodgersCathy McMorris RodgersThe Hill's Whip List: 36 GOP no votes on ObamaCare repeal plan The one Trump pick leaving greens hopeful House, Senate leaders avoid holding town halls MORE (R-Wash.) and Cynthia LummisCynthia LummisTrump's Interior candidates would play Russian roulette with West Trump eyes House members for Cabinet jobs Trump aide dodges questions about business dealings MORE (R-Wyo.) met Thursday with the chief minister of the business-friendly state of Gujarat, Narendra Modi, The Times of India reports. The visit marks the highest level U.S. delegation to a state that hosts major U.S. companies such as General Motors and Ford since the United States began denying him a visa in 2005.

The visa ban stems from accusations that Modi did little to stop an explosion of communal violence in 2002 that left 790 Muslims and 254 Hindus dead, according to India's minister of state for home affairs. The lawmakers, who will be in India until Sunday, are reportedly getting ready to ask the State Department to grant Modi a visa.

“We have invited him to the U.S. to show us some of what he has done here in the state,” Schock told reporters in India. “We were impressed with what we have seen here, especially with his statement of 'minimum government, maximum governance'. And as a congressman of the Republican Party, I also believe in limited government.” 

Schock said any decision to grant Modi a visa would be up to the State Department but “we, along with other Republican lawmakers, will work in that direction with the U.S. administration.”