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Former Disney IT worker to Congress: How can you allow this?

Patrick Thibodeau | Feb. 26, 2016
Senate committee displays photos of flags flown by IT workers in protest.

Most of the comments spoke to frustration around the issue. John Miano, a programmer who became an attorney and was representing the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers, illustrated that frustration in a quip. "The only way this is going to get fixed is by executive order from President Trump," he said.

At the hearing, Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), called Eversource Energy's outsourcing "extraordinarily troubling"; he has asked for a federal investigation.

Sessions is a leading advocate for reform of the H-1B visa. He has influenced the platform of Donald Trump, the billionaire developer who is leading the Republicans for the presidential nomination, and Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas), another presidential candidate, who has reversed his position on the H-1B visa. Sessions has co-sponsored a reform bill with Cruz.

Cruz, a one-time advocate for expanding the visa cap, now favors raising the minimum wage to $110,000. Trump is seeking to raise the prevailing wage.

The hearing was an opportunity to bring new attention to the issue in an election year.

Academic policy experts spoke on each side of the debate. These were mostly familiar arguments covering heavily researched areas.

Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), made it clear at the hearing that he was holding out for a comprehensive immigration reform bill, similar to the 2013 bill that was approved by the Senate but not the House.

"It's hard to believe this bill was turned down," said Schumer.


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