Immigration News 2016: Trump, Rubio, Cruz Offer Their Solutions to Legal Immigration, H-1B Visa Usage
Immigration once again was a talking point at the final Republican presidential debate before the crucial Florida and Ohio presidential primaries.
H-1B Visas: Rubio on Legal Immigration
During the March 11 debate, sponsored by CNN and the Washington Times, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., was asked about H-1B visas, an immigrant guest work-authorization program. Taking into account Disney's firing of 250 workers in Orlando in late 2015 in exchange for many foreign workers and Rubio's support for more H-1B visas, he was questioned if the visa program takes away American jobs.
"If it's being abused the way Disney did," Rubio said. "Understand that program, it is illegal now under that program to use it to replace American workers. Under that program, you have to prove not only that you're not replacing Americans, but that you've tried to hire Americans, and if a company is caught abusing that process, they should never be allowed to use it again."
Rubio noted that many companies are not directly hiring the foreign employees but rather it's the consulting companies that have done the firing, specifically naming the Indian company Tata. The Florida senator said no consulting firm should hoard up visas in a similar approach as Tata, and the H-1B program should only be used directly from the companies that seek foreign workers.
"It is illegal now, it is a violation of the law now to use that program to replace Americans, and if a company is caught doing that, whether it be Disney or anyone else, they should be barred from using the program in the future," added Rubio.
Rubio said he would be open to the idea of pausing the H-1B program until such abuses are solved, but doesn't believe such pauses would result in fixing the law.
Trump's Take on H-1B
Donald Trump said he knows the H-1B visa program very well and it's something he has used for his business. Despite using it, Trump says the program should not exist, adding it's "very bad" for workers.
"It's very bad for business in terms of -- it's very bad for our workers and it's unfair for our workers, and we should end it. Very importantly, the Disney workers endorsed me, as you probably read, and I got a full endorsement because they are the ones that said, and they had a news conference, and they said, he's the only one that's going to be able to fix it because it is a mess," said Trump.
The real estate mogul said it's likely necessary to investigate at least the last two years to determine if a temporary pause on the visa problem is necessary.
"We have to sort of take a strong, good, hard look and come up with plans that work, and we're rushing into things, and we're just -- we're leading with the chin," Trump continued.
Cruz on Fixing Legal Immigration
Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, said the legal immigration system needs to be redefined in order to meet the U.S. economy's needs. According to Cruz, too many low-skilled immigrant workers are coming to the U.S., and it's bringing wages down for Americans.
"Our system isn't working. And then on top of that, we've got a system that's allowing in millions of people to be here illegally. And the answer to that, I've laid out a very, very detailed immigration plan on my website: We're going to build a wall, triple the border patrol, we're going to end sanctuary cities. And let me tell you how we're going to do that, we're going to cut off federal taxpayer funds to any city that defies federal immigration laws."
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