Skip to comments.Confusion follows Trump flip-flop on key immigration issue
Posted on 03/10/2016 9:46:06 AM PST by ConservingFreedom
Donald Trump won the South Carolina primary across the board, but he did particularly well with the 10 percent of voters who named immigration as the nation's top issue. In addition, some who named other issues -- the economy, national security -- were undoubtedly also concerned about immigration, and Trump's hard line likely helped him with them, too.
Which is why people who follow immigration closely were stunned Thursday night when Trump, at the Fox News debate here in Detroit, announced that he has changed his position on one key element of the immigration debate -- the use of H-1B visas to bring skilled foreign workers into the United States.
In the distant past -- say, yesterday -- Trump focused on abuses in the system, in which some big companies have been caught using H-1Bs to bring in foreign workers, force American employees to train their own replacements, and then pay the foreign worker less than the American had made -- all to do mostly routine jobs in the tech industry.
At his recent rally in Alabama -- the one in which Trump received the endorsement of Sen. Jeff Sessions, Congress' strongest voice against expanding the troubled H-1B program -- Trump also won the endorsement of some American workers who were victims of H-1B abuse at Disney.
"The fact is that Americans are losing their jobs to foreigners," one of the laid-off workers told the crowd. "I believe Mr. Trump is for Americans first."
In Detroit, Fox News' Megyn Kelly pointed out that Trump's campaign website has a strong statement against increasing the number of H-1Bs, saying it would "decimate American workers," and yet in one debate Trump spoke favorably of the program. "So, which is it?" Kelly asked.
"I'm changing," Trump said. "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."
"So, we do need highly skilled," Trump continued, "and one of the biggest problems we have is people go to the best colleges. 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. 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.
"So you are abandoning the position on your website?" asked Kelly.
"I'm changing it," Trump said, "and I'm softening the position because we have to have talented people in this country."
Trump's turnaround sent a jolt through the group of policy wonks and activists who have opposed Gang of Eight-style comprehensive immigration reform. "I've heard from enough tech workers displaced by H-1Bs that Trump's apparent answer very dispiriting," tweeted the writer Mickey Kaus. "Clarification?"
Mark Krikorian, head of the Center for Immigration Studies, which favors reducing levels of immigration into the U.S., was not impressed. "(Trump) made clear in October he didn't believe what's in his immigration paper about skilled immigration," Krikorian told me by email after the debate, "and at the last debate he showed he buys the 'jobs Americans won't do' line on unskilled workers too."
"So will he 'clarify' his 'I'm softening' comment tomorrow, like he did after the October debate?" Krikorian continued. "His embrace of foreign tech workers is particularly shocking given that just days ago he featured American workers replaced by Disney at one of his rallies."
Even as Krikorian was typing his email to me, Trump was at work doing just what Krikorian predicted. "Megyn Kelly asked about highly skilled immigration," Trump said in a clarification statement sent to reporters about an hour after the debate ended. "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. 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. I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions."
It would be hard to imagine a quicker or more complete flip-flop. [...]
Trump has consistently been opposed to ILLEGAL ALIENS!! Not legally processed H-1 b visa recipients!! Move on.
I'm getting sick and tired of the MSM lumping together legal and illegal immigration, and painting someone as anti-immigrant if they only oppose illegal immigration.
Why do you want to take jobs away from Americans and give them to foreigners?
I think Trump is moving to having H-1B used in the manner intended - only bringing in foreign workers where there truly is a shortage of highly skilled American workers, not as a cost-cutting measure to get rid of existing American workers like we saw with Disney. I don’t have a problem with that.
Trump supporters beat up Cruz for MONTHS over this exact issue.
Will they be consistent ?
There hasn’t been any flip flopping just confusion created by the establishment media and Cruz...
This will be regarded as another brilliant statement by flip-flopping Trump.
That's not what his web site says.
Except when he personally benefited from them.
Not a word in the article about illegal immigration - and Trump has claimed at times to be against H-1B (a big part of the reason Jeff Sessions endorsed him).
There is no shortage of qualified American STEM workers. The purpose of the H-1B program is to keep labor costs low by importing foreign workers.
Another Anti-Trump Hit piece. Is he saying no wall? Nope. Is he saying do not enforce the immigration laws? Nope. Is he pro amnesty? Nope.
Hes simply using common sense, they use our education system and get the brain power and we can use that resource. Fact is our lower level education system (Common core, etc) is broken and we do not have enough educated people to compete in the global market place - yet.
of course not...they’re the biggest bunch of hypocrites walking...all that matters is that their new god can do no wrong.
say, somebody pass me the kool-aid.
There’s nothing wrong with wanting highly skills people from around the world in the United States.
We want the best! Wait, don’t we?
Donald Trump on Thursday night said he’s changing his stance on visas for highly skilled immigrant workers.
“Im changing it, and Im softening the position because we need to have talented people in this country,” Trump said at the Fox News GOP debate in Michigan.
Yes, and they should be, but Cruz was the one who was inconsistent.
It’s not nice to talk about Cruz and his supporters that way...
Not necessarily the case: there’s a difference between allowing PhD’s in with green cards vs. H1B’s, who are, as Trump pointed out, simply temporary workers brought in to replace Americans and lower wages.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.