H1B visa important tool to attract best minds: US lawmaker

In a series of tweets, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said H1B reform is needed, but after lots of roll out fanfare it was disappointing to read President Trump's "Hire American" executive order.

By: PTI | Washington | Published:April 20, 2017 7:39 am

The H1B visa programme is an important tool to attract the best and the brightest from across the world to contribute to the US economy, a lawmaker has said, cautioning the Trump administration against kicking out those who can become competitors.

“The H-1B visa program is an important tool for attracting and retaining top talent in STEM and we shouldn’t kick people out of the country, so they can become our competitors, especially if they were trained and educated in the US,” said Congressman Erik Paulsen in a statement. Paulsen represents a Congressional district in Minnesota which is home to many medical technology companies.

“While we must ensure that the program is not abused, it is also critical not to turn away some of the brightest minds in the world that can help grow and contribute to our economy,” he said.

In a series of tweets, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said H1B reform is needed, but after lots of roll out fanfare it was disappointing to read President Trump’s “Hire American” executive order.

“Trump apparently understands the need to reorient the H1B program to the ‘best and brightest’, but his order appears to do nothing,” she said.

“On H-1B, we need to do two things: welcome highly talented people who create jobs and preclude use of program to undercut the American workforce,” Lofgren tweeted.

“Our economy benefits when talented people come to America and create. Nearly half of startups in Silicon Valley are founded by immigrants,” the Congresswoman representing Silicon Valley in US House of Representative said.

Last week, senior Trump advisor Stephen Miller held a meeting with Attorney Sara Blackwell on H1B visa, Breitbart News said. Blackwell represents Americans fired by US companies after being told they would be replaced by H-1B labour.

“The people who are affected by this and know this business model were extremely deflated when the H1B application process started without changes. Now, they’ve gone from hopeless to hopeful,” Blackwell told Breitbart news.

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  1. J
    John Smith
    Apr 21, 2017 at 9:36 pm
    Oh, please. If Indian tech firms had not abused the H1B program there would have been no issue. The H1B program was intended to bring “highly skilled” workers from anywhere on the planet to the USA. Over 80 of the H1Bs are from India. The majority of them are NOT highly skilled/experienced in their discipline. Indians are inexpensive, cheap labor. If this had been about experienced/skilled labor then people would be pouring in across the Canadian boarder - Canada has about 1 of the H1B visa. The USA graduates over 100,000 computer engineers each year, far more than the number of H1B visas. Yet our own graduates can not find jobs. FOLLOW THE MONEY. Corporate is lying about the issues. It's not that we don't have enough computer engineers in the USA. We don't have enough $20/hour engineers.