A 2015 Donald Trump interview resurfaced Wednesday and is making headlines for his chief strategist, Steve Bannon’s views on Asian immigrants working in the Silicon Valley. In a podcast for white nationalist website Breibart News, Trump expressed dismay at how illegal immigrants are taking away American jobs and lowering wages, and concern over those graduating from premier institutes and “thrown out” of the country.
“People are coming in and they’re taking jobs and people are getting paid less money,” Trump said. “A lot of it has to do with borders. When someone is going to Harvard, Yale, Princeton, Penn, Stanford, all the greats we throw them out of the country, and they can’t get back in.”
When Trump asked the Breibart executive chairman if he agreed with him, Bannon complained about the large number of Asians working in the Silicon Valley. “When two-thirds or three-quarters of the CEOs in Silicon Valley are from South Asia or from Asia, I think…” Bannon said. “A country is more than an economy. We’re a civic society.”
India-born Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, however, congratulated Trump on winning the presidential election. In his note to Microsoft employees last week, Nadella said he was looking forward to work with the new administration and added that “our commitment to our mission and values are steadfast, and in particular fostering a diverse and inclusive culture”.
Immigration has been the main focus of the Trump campaign, with the President-elect promising to build a wall across the Mexican border and making them pay for it. There is also talk of putting a cap on H-1B visas that would limit the number of foreign workers from joining the American work force. Bannon’s new role as chief strategist — reports say it is equally powerful as chief of staff — came under sharp criticism with calls for Trump to rescind the appointment. Bannon made Breibart News the converging point for the alt-right movement, and white nationalist views mainstream. Bannon is known for giving voice to opinions on his platform that propagate anti-Muslim, anti-Black and anti-feminism rhetoric. He was also accused by his former wife for being anti-Semitic.