H1B Visas and Trump’s “Softening” Position


It was James Madison who said, “If men were angels, no government would be necessary…” Well, we know all too well, men are not angels. It is with this in mind that as we vet our Presidential Candidates, it is ever so important, that we closely examine what they are saying. If words matter, then the words of our potential leaders matter exponentially.

On March 3rd, FOX hosted the Republican Presidential Debate. It was during this debate that Donald Trump recanted his very strong position on stopping corporations from abusing H1B visas which allows corporations to bring in “highly skilled” foreign workers into the U.S. The abuse of this program occurs when American Corporations bring in these “highly skilled” foreign workers at a significantly cheaper wage to replace the higher waged American. Doing this is illegal. However, for some people, laws exist only to find their loopholes. We saw this happen at Walt Disney World in 2015, where 400 Americans were forced to train these H1B foreign workers. When they had finished training the foreign worker to do their job, they were fired.

So, what’s the problem? The problem is that on numerous occasions, Trump expressed great concern over corporations’ abuse of H1B visas. In fact, at the time of this debate, Trump’s campaign website stated that the abuse of these H1B visas “decimate American jobs.” Yet, standing there on stage Trump said, “I’m changing, I’m softening the position because we have to have talented people in this country.” Now, what Trump said there is a HUGE deal because words matter.

So, why is Trump changing on such a critical cornerstone to his “Make America Great Again” agenda? Trump said, “We need highly skilled people in this country…” He referenced Silicon Valley needing these “highly skilled” people. He said the need is critical.

Well, is it critical? Let’s break it down a bit:

  1. There are several types of Visas. For our discussion, let us focus on H1B versus H2B visas.
    • H2B visas are temporary visas for short term, seasonal workers. These are, typically, your low-tech jobs in hospitality and tourist industries. These are not your “highly skilled” foreign workers.
    • H1B visas are reserved for bringing in “highly skilled” foreign workers who work in specialty occupations. These are, typically, STEM jobs (i.e., Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math). The thought is, Corporations have the right to fill voids in the labor force. If Corporations cannot find “highly skilled” American workers than they can go outside of America and bring in that labor force.
    • Trump was called to the carpet on personally abusing H2B visas and for flip-flopping on his previous stance to stop the abuse of H1B visas.
  2. Is there a shortage of “highly skilled” American workers? Are Corporations forced to seek “highly skilled” workers from outside of the U.S.?
    • Answer: NO!
    • According to the latest U.S. Census Bureau, the answer is a resounding NO!
    • Here are the facts:
      • 3 out of 4 American STEM graduates are NOT employed in STEM jobs. (74%)
      • 2 out of 3 IT jobs are filled by H1B foreign workers. (66%)

If Donald is right, there is a high demand for “highly skilled” workers. So, why is only 1 out of 4 American STEM graduates getting the job? Asked another way, why are 74% of American STEM graduates not employed in STEM jobs if there is such a high need for them? I smell Corporate abuse is going on here.

We must now ask ourselves some hard questions:

  1. With the facts as they are, why is Trump “changing/softening” his position on what seems like an obvious case of corporate abuse? Was he selling the American people a fantasy just to win their vote?
  2. Is there anything else he will “soften” his position on? Will he “change/soften” his position on building that wall? What about placing a moratorium on accepting Syrian Refugees? Illegal immigration?

Men are not angels. And, none of these candidates are Christ. They are vying for our vote. It is incumbent upon each of us to do our due diligence in determining who we will support. Blind allegiance is ridiculous. With ever decision we make in these coming months, we should do so through the lens of “What about Americans?” “At what point, do American lives matter?”

1 comment
Kathy Barnette

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1 Comment

  • Spike
    April 2, 2016, 11:05 pm

    I think you’re exactly right, Kathy. Putting Donald’s serial flip-flopping aside, the H1B visa has been rife with abuse for years now, to the point where American workers’ last assignment is to train their H1B-holding foreign replacement to do their job before they are fired. Additionally, because of lax oversight we know that at least one terrorist (Faisal Shahzad) who came into the US on an H1B visa.


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