Misuse of visa schemes will end: Trump

President-elect Donald Trump.   | Photo Credit: AP

U.S. President-elect Donald Trump on Thursday promised to end the misuse of visa programmes by companies to undercut American workers, referring to an incident that involved Indian companies and IT professionals on H-1B visas.

Mr. Trump did not name India or the particular visa category, but it was clear that he was referring to HCL Inc. and Cognizant Technology Solutions that hired Indian IT professionals on H-1B visas for contracts obtained from Disney World in Orlando, Florida.

Bringing jobs back

Talking about bringing jobs back to America, at a rally in Iowa on Thursday, Mr. Trump said: “During the campaign, I also spent time with American workers who were laid off and forced to train the foreign workers brought in to replace them. We won’t let this happen any more.”

“Can you believe that? You get laid off and then they won’t give you your severance pay unless you train the people that are replacing you... that’s actually demeaning maybe more than anything else,” he added.

The Disney World incident caught national attention after Leo Perrero, one of the employees who lost their jobs, spoke out at a congressional hearing earlier this year and broke down. He later appeared with Mr. Trump at campaign events, through a connection made by Senator Jeff Sessions, now the Attorney-General appointee.

Mr. Perrero and others are suing Disney World and other companies, but lost the first round in a New York court, days ahead of the election. Mr. Perrero told The Hindu recently that he was not sure whether Mr. Trump would continue to support American IT workers once elected.

“My administration will follow a simple rule — buy American, hire American. Years earlier we used to take pride in buying things ‘Made in America’. We love our companies, but we don’t love them when they go out of our country. There will be consequences,” Mr. Trump said at the Iowa event. “If they are leaving, I will tell them, enjoy the new plant. Enjoy the hot weather, but if you think you’re going to be coming through what will soon become a very, very strong border, no, not going to happen so easy... We’re not going to be the stupid people anymore, folks.”

No alternative plan

Mr. Trump has never detailed his opposition to the H-1B visa programme, and has often argued for bringing talent into the U.S. He has not offered any alternative plans either even as he has spoken about creating new jobs in frontier technologies within the boundaries of the U.S. He said again on Thursday that “people could come to this country legally”.

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Printable version | Jan 25, 2022 8:18:33 PM |

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