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Obama confronted on H-1B use during Google+ hangout

Patrick Thibodeau | Feb. 1, 2012
President Barack Obama faced perhaps his toughest and most direct question ever on the H-1B program by a Texas woman during an online town hall Monday.

Weddel: (breaking in) I understand that, but how, I mean, given the list that you're getting, we're not getting that. You said in the State of the Union address for business leaders to ask themselves what can they do to bring jobs back to America. But why do you think that the H-1b program is so popular with the corporations?

Obama: Jennifer, can I ask you what kind of engineer your husband is?

Weddel: He is a semiconductor engineer.

Obama: The, see, it is interesting to me, and I meant what I said if you send me your husband's resume I'd be interested in finding out exactly what's happening right there because the word we're getting is that somebody in that kind of high-tech field, that kind of engineer, should be able to find something right away. And the H-1bs should be reserved only for those companies who say they cannot find somebody in that particular field. So that wouldn't necessarily apply if in fact there are a lot of highly skilled American engineers in that position. I'd be interested in ... I will follow up on this because I'm interested in finding out and maybe we can get some information as to why your husband has been having trouble getting placed. We want to encourage more American engineers to be placed and that's part of the reason why it's so important for us to boost American manufacturing.

Weddel: I appreciate your response, Mr. President. I'll have to take you up on that, Thank you.



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