Cruz is a big supporter of legal immigration.
By Raif Karerat
WASHINGTON, DC: When it comes to increasing skilled workers on H-1B visas, one could say presidential candidate Ted Cruz is a bit of a black sheep amongst the GOP.
The Republican presidential candidate wants to increase the H-1B visas by 500 percent from its 65,000 to 325,000.
Cruz, who announced his run for the Oval office this morning, had made the proposition in 2013 as an amendment to the Senate’s comprehensive immigration bill.
While the Senate’s Judiciary Committee torpedoed Cruz’s amendment, they did approve an increase of 180,000 in the H-1B cap, but the House never acted on the legislation.
It’s not clear if Cruz had only the base 65,000 H-1B visas for skilled workers from around the globe to emigrate to the US in mind, and he didn’t want to include the 20,000 other H-1B visas which are allocated especially for students who graduate from universities in the US.
However, Cruz’s amendment proposed drastically increasing the fees associated with the visa applications from $1,500 to $2,500 for companies with 25 H-1B workers or more. According to Computerworld, the additional revenue would be directed towards promotion of STEM education.
Cruz is one of the few right-wing politicians who subscribes to the same school of thought as his Democratic opponents across the party aisle, in believing visa workers in the U.S. provide the catalyst for further domestic job growth.
In defending the H-1B increase, Cruz cited a study by the American Enterprise Institute that claimed 183 jobs for U.S. nationals are created for every 100 H-1B workers employed on American soil.
The report, which was published during tougher economic times, illustrated that H1-Bs were not even harmful during the recession.
“Even under the current immigration pattern—which is not designed to maximize job creation, has at least eight million unauthorized workers, and prioritizes family reunification—there is no statistically significant effect, either positive or negative, on the employment rate among [U.S.] natives,” it stated. “The results thus do not indicate that immigration leads to fewer jobs for [U.S.] natives.”