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Sen. Ted Cruz changes his tone on H-1Bs

Patrick Thibodeau | Nov. 11, 2015
GOP presidential candidates may be downshifting on unabashed support for the visa program.

During the Senate's comprehensive immigration debate in 2013, Cruz tried to amend the immigration bill to increase the base H-1B cap from 65,000 to 325,000. His amendment failed. But the overall immigration bill, which increased the base cap to 180,000, was adopted by the Senate. The bill, however, was never acted on by the House of Representatives.

Despite his interview remarks, Cruz may still favor a big increase in the H-1B cap, albeit with tighter rules around how visa workers are used. In arguing for his proposed increase two years ago, Cruz pointed to what he called "a serious shortage" of STEM workers. He has not said anything lately to indicate he has changed his mind about that shortage.

In the radio interview, Cruz made a point of backing immigration reforms that would shift the U.S. in the direction of an immigration policy focused around a person's skills. That could mean easing green card immigration for skilled workers. But until Cruz produces details about what he has in mind, or proposes specific legislation, his position remains more talking point than concrete plan.


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