Eagle Forum Legislative Alerts

Monday, May 02, 2016

Republicans Debate Guest Workers

Even when candidates say they want to “secure the borders” or crack down on illegal immigration, some Republicans just can’t let go of the notion that our economy can’t grow without foreign workers who supposedly do “jobs that Americans won’t do.” The subject exploded in many of the early-2016 presidential debates. All five of the then-candidates had at some time supported increases in the number of guest workers. Trump and Cruz, tried to disavow their earlier positions, but Rubio and Kasich refused to recant their support for guest worker increases.

In the Feb. 25 CNN debate in Houston, John Kasich and Ben Carson both suggested that the 11-plus million illegal aliens could remain in this country as guest workers after they “come out of the shadows.” Donald Trump defended his practice of hiring foreign workers under the H-2B visa program to staff his Palm Beach club during the peak season. In the March 3 Fox News debate in Detroit, Trump defended Silicon Valley’s hiring of foreign workers, saying “we have to have talented people in this country.” Trump seemed to be buying the industry propaganda that American college graduates aren’t smart enough to work in the computer industry.

The moderator quickly reminded Cruz that “not long ago you proposed quintupling the number of these foreign worker visas.” Indeed, Cruz’s amendment to increase the number of H-1B visas to 325,000 per year was even rejected by the Senate Gang of Eight in 2013. Although H-1B visa candidates are supposed to be “high-skilled,” most have only mediocre talents and most H1-B visa immigrants are used primarily to fill entry-level positions at large corporations.

Listen to the radio commentary here:

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