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Trump "Softens" H-1B Stand - Before Reverting Back To Hard Line. Roger Algase

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At the March 3 Republican presidential debate, front runner Donald Trump created some surprises by deviating from the hard line immigration policies that have earned him the support of bitter immigration opponents such as Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL) and Kansas Secretary of State Kris Kobach (R), not to mention David Duke, the former KKK leader whom Trump has now finally disavowed.

In response to questions from Fox News' Megyn Kelly, whom Trump has apparently made peace with after their dust-up last summer, Trump stated that he has "changed" and "softened" his position on H-1B skilled worker visas":

"I'm changing, I'm changing",

Trump said. He continued:

"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 [them] in Silicon Valley, we absolutely have to have [them]...

We do need highly skilled, 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 get 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 reason we absolutely have to be able to keep the brain power in this country."


However, just as some hope might have been arising that a "kinder, gentler", more rational and immigrant-friendly "inner" Donald Trump was beginning to emerge, at least with regard to H-1B, Trump posted the following statement on Facebook a few hours later:

"Megyn Kelly asked about highly skilled immigration. 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."

​Well, maybe that last sentence needs a little qualification. Evidently, there are a few exceptions - Trump's own foreign workers, a topic that also came up at the March 3 debate. Trump was asked by Senator Marco Rubio why he hired so many foreign workers at his hotel in Florida when there were "hundreds" of Americans looking for similar jobs.

Trump's answer that these were only seasonal jobs that Americans don't want, and, besides, all the other hotels in the area were doing the same thing, according to perfectly legal procedures, could just as well been written by almost any pro-immigrant organization (except that these organization would have no doubt explained this more coherently than Trump).

Will the real Donald Trump on H-1B please stand up?
Roger Algase is a New York immigration lawyer and a graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School. He has been helping mainly skilled and professional immigrants with work visas and green cards for more than 35 years.

A large part of Rogers' practice focuses on H-1B filings, His long experience with these cases has enabled him to avoid many of the pitfalls that can often lead to H-1B RFE's or denials.

Roger's email address is

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Updated 03-09-2016 at 12:25 PM by ImmigrationLawBlogs

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  1. Pipo's Avatar
    Ripley's Believe It or Not!
    Trump Softens Immigration Stance on H1-B Visas: 'I'm Changing, I'm Changing' (03/03/2016)

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    Dr. Paul Craig Roberts ? Assistant Secretary of the Treasury for Economic Policy during the Reagan administration
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