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H1-B visa: Don't kick out competitors vital for economy, says US lawmaker

Erik Paulsen said H-1B visa program is a tool for attracting, retaining top talent in STEM

Press Trust of India  |  Washington 

Photo: Shutterstock
Photo: Shutterstock

The H-1B 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 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 H-1B 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 H-1B 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 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 H-1B 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 H-1B application process started without changes. Now, they've gone from hopeless to hopeful," Blackwell told Breitbart news.

First Published: Thu, April 20 2017. 08:05 IST