WASHINGTON, D.C: There have been studies that have found that America gains much by attracting talented, educated and resourceful workforce from among the world through its popular H1-B Work Visa, Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump stoked another controversy by vowing to abolish the visa program, popular among Indian techies. IT professionals from India and major Indian IT companies are major beneficiary of H-1B, a non-immigrant visa in the US which allows US employers to temporarily employ foreign workers in speciality occupations.
Donald Trump has said the H-1B visa programme he uses to employ highly-skilled foreign workers at his own businesses should end as it is “very unfair” for American workers and has been taking away their jobs. The last Republican presidential debate in Miami began with all the four White House aspirants slamming the H-1B visa system — popular among Indian techies, with Florida Senator Marco Rubio even naming Tata and India as part of his anti- H-1B rhetoric.
“I know the H-1B very well. And it’s something that I frankly use and I shouldn’t be allowed to use it. We shouldn’t have it. Very, very bad for workers. It’s very important to say, well, I’m a businessman and I have to do what I have to do,” Trump said while responding to a question on foreign workers, in particular H-1B visas. “When it’s sitting there waiting for you, but it’s very bad. It’s very bad for business, it’s very bad for our workers and it’s unfair for our workers. We should end it,” he said.
Trump’s website calls for eliminating the H-1B class of visas that allow companies to import high-skilled workers from countries like India. “We do need highly skilled, and one of the biggest problems we have is people go to the best colleges,” Trump said.
However, Trump had recently said in political rally, “They’ll go to Harvard, they’ll go to Stanford, they’ll go to Wharton, as soon as they’re finished they’ll get shoved out. They want to stay in this country,” he said. “They want to stay here desperately, they’re not able to stay here. For that purpose, we absolutely have to be able to keep the brain power in this country,” Trump said in response to a question.
“I’m changing. I’m changing. We need highly skilled people in this country, and if we can’t do it, we’ll get them in. But, and we do need in Silicon Valley, we absolutely have to have,” Trump, 69, said during the Republican presidential debate in Detroit. Responding to a question on his views on immigration in particular highly skilled people, Trump said America needs highly skilled professionals.
“So you abandoning the position on your website…?” he was asked. “I’m changing it, and I’m softening the position, because we have to have talented people in this country,” Trump said.
However, within an hour of his statement, which was interpreted differently by immigration experts, Trump clarified his position. “The H-1B program is neither high-skilled nor immigration: these are temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad, for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at lower pay,” Trump said.
“I remain totally committed to eliminating rampant, widespread H-1B abuse and ending outrageous practices such as those that occurred at Disney in Florida when Americans were forced to train their foreign replacements,” he said in his statement.
Florida Senator Marco Rubio immediately slammed Trump for his policy change. “Tonight, Donald Trump finally took an actual position,” Rubio said in a statement provided by his campaign. “But as soon as the debate was over, his handlers made him reverse himself. The Republican nominee cannot be somebody who is totally clueless on so many issues, including his signature issue,” he said.