‘They really need these H-1B visas’; When Donald Trump was in support, but Rupert Murdoch had this to say

By: | Published: January 5, 2018 4:46 PM

Ever since Donald Trump took over as the US President, he has maintained a strong stand against the H-1B visas. Only a couple of days ago, a report suggested that Trump administration's new proposal based on the President's poll promise of "Buy American, Hire American" may force lakhs of Indian techies out of America.

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Ever since Donald Trump took over as the US President, he has maintained a strong stand against the H-1B visas. Only a couple of days ago, a report suggested that Trump administration’s new proposal based on the President’s poll promise of “Buy American, Hire American” may force lakhs of Indian techies out of America. If this new proposal is cleared then the H-1B visas of those waiting for permanent residency or green card will not be extended. However, in what has emerged as a big surprise, Donald Trump wasn’t always against this visa!

According to the book ‘Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House’ written by journalist Michael Wolff, Donald Trump had actually shown support for US H-1B visa regime, contrary to his campaign rhetoric against the work visas popular among Indian IT professionals.

The book claims that after a meeting with a delegation of Silicon Valley leaders at the Trump Towers on December 14, 2016; Trump, then as president-elect, said that the tech industry needed help on the issue of H-1B.

Wolff wrote that Trump had called media mogul Rupert Murdoch later that afternoon, who asked him how the meeting had gone. “Oh, great, just great,” says Trump. “These guys really need my help. Obama was not very favourable to them, too much regulation. This is really an opportunity for me to help them,” he added.

“Donald,” says Murdoch, “for eight years these guys had Obama in their pocket. They practically ran the administration. They don’t need your help.”

“Take this H-1B visa issue. They really need these H-1B visas,” Trump was quoted as telling Murdoch over phone after the meeting, according to excerpts from the book published in New York magazine.

“What a f…ing idiot,” Wolff quotes Murdoch as saying (on the basis of third party accounts) as he gets off the phone.

The White House, however, has disputed the content of the book and described it as fiction.

“Murdoch suggested that taking a liberal approach to H-1B visas, which open America’s doors to select immigrants, might be hard to square with his promises to build a wall and close the borders,” Wolff writes.

As per the current law, the foreign guest workers are allowed one 3-year extension of the H-1B visa of three-year validity. At the end of the sixth year, the guest worker has a pending Green Card (Permanent Residency) application, then there is an almost indefinite extension of the H-1B visa till such time the applicant’s Green Card processing is completed.

Meanwhile, some US lawmakers and advocacy groups have criticised the Trump administration’s reported plan to curb H-1B visa extensions. “Imposing these draconian restrictions on H-1B visa holders will tear families apart, drain our society of talent and expertise, and damage our relationship with an important partner, India,” Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard said.

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