Trump’s Softened Stance on Visas Alarms Some Immigration Critics

Amid the sparring and free-flying insults of Thursday night’s Republican presidential debate, Donald J. Trump said he wanted to expand the number of visas available for highly skilled immigrants.

His remarks caused shock among some supporters who have seen Mr. Trump as a bulwark against an influx of foreigners taking American jobs.

  • luna

    The reality is business operates best as a meritocracy. Lots of people from India & China invest more in their children’s education. The result is highly qualified foreigners.

    • The Visa issue is a genuine concern. Many tech companies simply use it to suppress wages.

      • luna

        That’s a fair criticism.

        • Not a net loss really when you think about it.

          • luna

            Perhaps I’m biased, I hate to see my industry be outsourced.

          • Exile1981

            It already is. lots of tech companies and engineering companies are bringing in foreign workers on the vida program and laying off locals.

          • luna

            In my experience the bigger tech companies set the bar for hiring quite high. The pool of local candidates is much smaller then the pool of foreign candidates.

            For this and several other reasons, the result is that many people working in silicon valley are foreign immigrants. In fact I’d think U.S. born and educated workers in silicon valley may be fewer then 50%.

          • Exile1981

            I think we are looking at it differently. I’m concerned that the tech companies are firing local talent and replacing them with h1b visa holders.

          • luna

            I won’t say it never happens, but I don’t believe it’s a widespread practice. It may even be illegal though I could be wrong.

            As far as I understand employers may even incur some additional legal costs when hiring someone on h1b visa.

            Keep in mind also when it comes to the tech sector we have workers from everywhere, including Europe and Canada on h1b visas.

          • Exile1981

            Disney laid off 140 IT employees who were forced to sign an agreement to not talk about the incident and they had to train the H1B people who were replacing them. Another company in chicago did the same thing. It’s a lot more wide spread than I think anyone knows. There was a congressional meeting with witnesses just last week on this exact problem.

          • luna

            Good point. I know in some countries it is difficult to hire foreign workers, the company must demonstrate that local talent is not available. I’m not sure the law in the U.S., hopefully if we don’t already have those laws, we can enact them.

        • BillyHW

          Yes, but then at least we are not made to be foreigners in our own countries. Also, doing that would cause significant hiccups to quality, giving the former engineers/programmers time to start their own companies doing the same thing. And I’d bet on our guys winning in a free market competition.

      • luna

        With regards to tech companies, the larger ones pay very well. So I don’t see wage suppression as a real problem in that industry.

        Employers in the U.S. are competing with employees in places like Europe, Australia, even Japan for highly skilled tech workers.

        Wage suppression may be a bigger issue with unskilled, undocumented workers, bordering on human trafficking.

  • Drunk_by_Noon

    Trump clarified this in his Twitter feed and again on his blog on Thursday right after the debate.
    He is NOT softening his stance on H1-B visas.

    • Thank you!

    • luna

      He also clarified his hands aren’t small, and there’s no problem “down there”.

      • Clink9

        Inquiring minds want to know!

      • Minicapt

        Apparently he has a ‘big swinging stick’.


  • BillyHW

    The visas are a scam to lower the wages of our best, brightest and hardest-working citizens. They also do nothing to help other countries when were are causing their brain drain.

  • Norman_In_New_York

    Trump never opposed all immigration, only the illegal variety, and his proposed ban on Muslim immigration is temporary “until we figure out what is going on.”