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October 29, 2015

Mark Krikorian: Rubio and Trump Dissemble on H1-B Visas

Well, Rubio dissembled. Trump seemed like he hadn't read "his" own immigration plan.

Mark Krikorian -- who no one can claim is an immigration dove -- finds that Rubio was simply lying when he claimed that he wanted to "reform" the H1-B process, and guarantee that companies had to recruit Americans first, and pay H1-B workers at least as much as previous (American) workers.

If that's what he wants, why isn't that in his bill? All his bill does is triple the number of H1-B visas, without "reforming" anything, unless you consider giving corporate patrons handjobs "reform."

This is why Trump's website calls Rubio "Zuckerberg's personal Senator," though Trump, apparently, is unaware his website says this. Mark Zuckerberg loves him some low-cost foreign replacements (and American workers on welfare); Rubio loves that too, because Zuckerberg told him to love it.

[Rubio repeated] three times his demand that employers using H-1B visas to replace Americans should be barred from the program -- except that "abuses" aren't the problem. When Disney laid off hundreds of highly skilled Americans in Rubio’s own state and forced them to train their cheaper foreign replacements imported on H1-B visas, that wasn’t an abuse of the program -- that's the way it's supposed to work. In the past couple of years, Toys 'R' Us has done the same thing, and SunTrust and Fossil and Southern California Edison and Northeast Utilities and others.

The law was written precisely to allow this. Rubio was clearly suggesting that these actions should not be permitted. So one would assume that the H1-B bill that he introduced in the Senate earlier this year -- the "I-Squared" bill, that would triple the number of H1-B foreign workers admitted -- addresses those "abuses," right? After all, he said in the debate:

We need to add reforms, not just increase the numbers, but add reforms. For example, before you hire anyone from abroad, you should have to advertise that job for 180 days. You also have to prove that you’re going to pay these people more than you would pay someone else, so that you're not undercutting it by bringing in cheap labor.

But Rubio's bill on this very topic does none of these things. It does not require recruitment of American workers. It does not require employers to "pay more than you would pay someone else." In fact, Ron Hira, one of the leading researchers in this area, says Rubio’s bill would provide Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg and his comrades "a huge increase in the supply of lower-cost foreign guest workers so they can undercut and replace American workers."

As for Trump: Trump's own plan does in fact call for such reforms -- the one on his website. But this is precisely the plan he disowned at the debate, claiming Becky Quick was just making this up. "I don't know where you people get this," he said, or words to that effect.

Although this seemed at the moment to be Trump demolishing Becky Quick for her shoddy research, in fact, she was correct: She read this on Trump's website.

It's part of the immigration plan Jeff Sessions wrote for him -- which Donald Trump apparently did not even read. He slapped it up on the website, said "Here's my plan," but apparently hasn't been f***ed enough to read it.

Because this is not the first time Trump has talked up making sure we get all these wonderful highly-skilled foreign workers here on H1-B workers.

I've noted this on the blog before: the immigration policy that Trump puts on his website -- written by Jeff Sessions -- promises reforms and restrictions on the H1-B program.

But every single time Trump actually talks about it, he talks about letting in as many highly-skilled workers as possible. We can't lose such people, he says. We can't have them go to school at Harvard, then go work in another country.

So we need them... to displace existing American workers.

It's not just that this is a contradiction. It's a contradiction he doesn't even attempt to reconcile, because I don't think he's even aware of what "his" immigration plan on his website actually says.

Michele Malkin, who introduced me to this issue when she came on the podcast, isn't having it:


Either Trump wants H1B's reformed and restricted or he does not. His website says one thing; his mouth says another. When asked about the reform/restriction plan, he goes so far to actually disown the idea, and to claim it has nothing to do with him.

Well, which is it?

Many people -- including me-- are giving Trump a chance specifically because of his pro-American-worker positioning on illegal -- and legal -- immigration. Supposedly, because he didn't need corporate money to fuel his campaign, he had the ability to actually say "no" to corporate demands to replace American workers with cheaper foreign imports and stick up for actual Americans for a change.

But if he doesn't believe his own plan -- indeed, if he doesn't even know what the hell his plan even says -- then what is the point of him?

Note: Krikorian also makes the case against Trump, though I haven't quoted his language on that (I already quoted enough of him for Rubio).

See the link for Krikorian's take.


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posted by Ace at 07:14 PM

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