H-1B workers built this country, says Democratic presidential candidate.
Amid mounting criticism of President Donald Trump’s new curbs on H-1B visas from tech leaders in India and the US, Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden has come out in all out support of skilled foreign workers.
The former Vice President has even vowed to immediately lift the curbs on H-1B and other work visas extensively used by Indian professionals if he wins the race to White House in November.
Trump “ended H1B visas [for] the rest of this year,” Biden said in a June 27 digital town hall meeting organized by NBC News focusing on Asian American and Pacific Islander (AAPI) issues.
“That will not be in my administration,” he said adding, “The people coming on these [H-1B] visas have built this country,”
Biden also promised to “make it easier for qualified green card holders to move through this backlog.”
Thousands of Indian professionals are stuck in decades long green card waiting lines due to per country caps, which is seven percent for India.
He also vowed to send an immigration reform bill to Congress on his first day in office to provide a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants including an estimated 600,000 Indians.
“On day one, I’m going to send the legislation for an immigration reform bill to Congress to provide a roadmap to citizenship for 11 million undocumented immigrants who contribute so much to this country, including 1.7 million AAPI people,” Biden was quoted as saying by NBC.
“My immigration policy is built around keeping families together, modernizing the immigration system by keeping families [together], unification, and diversity as pillars of our immigration system, which it used to be,” he said.
“Ending Trump’s cruel, inhumane policy at the border to rip children from their mothers’ arms,” he said. “Take immediate action to protect [younger illegals] Dreamers — including the more than 100,000 eligible Dreamers from East and South Asia.”
Rescinding the un-American Muslim ban immediately and streamlining the naturalization process were among other points of Biden’s proposed immigration reforms.
Former Guam Governor Eddie Baza Calvo, who participated in the town hall as a Trump campaign surrogate said the president’s “number one goal is to move to merit-based immigration.”
Trump put a pause on new visas for foreign workers until the end of the year in a June 22 proclamation describing them as “a risk to the US labor market following the coronavirus outbreak.”
Calvo said the order would prioritize “bringing in high-skilled workers to grow our nation.”
“It’s not about the immigrants, they’re important,” Calvo said as cited by NBC. “But his first and foremost priority is getting Americans back to work.”
Reacting to Biden’s stance on H-1B workers, Rosemary Jenks, policy director at NumbersUS, said: “He said the H-1Bs built this country? So the country didn’t exist before 1990? That is interesting.”
If Biden is elected, said Jenks as cited by far-right Breitbart News, “he would reverse the whole thing…I have no doubt the people he would put into [the Department of Homeland Security] will be more than happy to rewrite the regulation to bring in as many foreign workers as possible.”