Is President Trump Weakening On His Pledge To Protect American Workers?

President Trump’s visit to the Mexican border garnered lots of attention, but a tweet he sent on his way back to Washington went virtually unnoticed.

“H1-B (sic) holders in the United States can rest assured that changes are soon coming which will bring both simplicity and certainty to your stay, including a potential path to citizenship. We want to encourage talented and highly skilled people to pursue career options in the U.S,” said Trump on Friday.

The president should know that foreign guest workers already can remain in the U.S. while they apply for a green card or citizenship. But that is the least concerning (and confusing) aspect of the tweet.

“This would be a radical about-face on everything he’s said and written about H-1Bs in the last three and a half years,” rightly observed Alex Nowrasteh, an analyst with the libertarian Cato Institute, which opposes most restrictions on immigration.

While the Trump Labor Department has taken some positive steps toward reining in a program susceptible to abuse and the target of multiple lawsuits, Trump has softened his stance on H-1B visa reforms in the past.

In August 2018, Politico reported that Trump dined with a group of business leaders, and told them “exactly what it wanted to hear” before telling a staffer to start work on a proposal that would allow top performers “to stay in the country for at least five years on a visa.”

What did Trump mean with his tweet? It is hard to know because no White House or administration staffers can or will provide context to president’s comment. But for those who fear President Trump is signaling he wants to make an immigration deal to end the shutdown, things grew darker after a speech to the American Farm Bureau Federation convention.

After much tough talk on the need for border security and a physical wall, the president said he wanted to make it “easier” for foreign farm laborers to come – and stay – in the U.S.

“We’re actually going to make that actually easier for them to help the farmers, because you actually need these people … You’ve had some people come in 20, 25 years, incredible people. Then they go home and can’t get back in. This is not going to happen,” Trump told the group.

Not only did Trump tell the crowd what they wanted to hear (more foreign labor), he failed to challenge the AFBF’s opposition to mandatory E-Verify – the most effective weapon against illegal immigrant labor.

Is President Trump’s resolve on border security and worker protections waning? That it is a question that many are asking right now. But it is incumbent upon President Trump or members of his administration to clear up any confusion and to clearly articulate how they intend to keep their promise to American workers.

It was unclear what Trump meant by a “potential path to citizenship” for H-1B visa holders, who already are eligible to be sponsored by their employers for legal permanent residency, which would make them eligible to become U.S. citizens.

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  1. avatar
    Concerned AMERICAN IT Worker on

    Trump needs to crack down hard on the abuse of the H1B Visa! Indians have stolen thousands of jobs from us American IT workers! H1B Visa is supposed to be for bringing in a foreign worker ONLY if they have a specialized skill a local American does not have. Instead, they take over entire IT departments, force the American workers to train their replacements (holding their severance pay hostage!!!), and then dump us. Just look at what happened to Disney Orlando and SoCal Edison! A man in Plano Texas is suing Infosys for reverse discrimination against American workers by indians!!! And Cognizant has a huge HQ in Arkansas near the Walmart HQ, and have taken over the entire surrounding area. Large chunks of cities in Texas have been taken over by indians. They buy big huge expensive new homes, drive around in Porches and Jaguars, while we Americans get laid off and starving! Not only should the H1B Visa abuse be shut down, but all these indian mega IT agencies be thrown out of our country!

  2. avatar

    Please don’t cave in and surrender our borders. Please protect our country. American citizens need to be protected. Our jobs need protection and so do our pocketbooks.
    Please please, you are the only one that can do it.

  3. avatar

    what are you doing Trump? are you being influenced by corporations? you MUST clarify your tweet, cuz right now it sounds like you are letting foreign people take over American jobs…you need to curb that program, it is NOT FAIR TO AMERICAN WORKERS!!! not only that but it is against what your campaign promised…

  4. Pingback: Is President Trump Weakening On His Pledge To Protect American Workers? – India Inc Blog

  5. avatar

    Trump Needs the Truth About H-1B Immigration

    He’s confused? The STEM (engineering) shortage in S/W development is fake news. Source control intellectual property code is not taught in any world college. Its on the job training. Seattle’s high school kids developed O/S Windows 95 and 98 without virus S/W needed and no weekly patches needed either. Much better quality. Why do we need subpar H-1Bs mucking up our S/W quality in the name of LIES?

    Trump….did you get this blog? Its not complicated nonsense from high tech, its the truth.

  6. avatar

    The H1-B program was bought-and-paid-for by the Cheap Labor Lobby. Over the course of nearly three decades, this program to address a “temporary labor shortage” has displaced millions of American tech workers. I was in IT from 1975; salaries and benefits in the field improved steadily during the 1980’s. After H1-B, salaries leveled off, top-paid people were laid off, and low-paid, marginally-skilled Indians flooded in.

    • avatar
      A Concerned AMERICAN IT worker on

      Remember Disney Orlando and SoCal Edison!!!! End H1B Visa abuse by india!!!