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Clinton: It's 'heartbreaking' when IT workers must train H-1B replacements

Patrick Thibodeau | July 13, 2016
But critics say the presumptive Democratic nominee underplayed the extent of the problem, and offered no solution

If Clinton supports a stand-alone H-1B reform bill, she didn't suggest that in this interview. She only discussed comprehensive immigration reform.

John Miano, a programmer who became an attorney and has sued the government over its expansion of Optional Practical Training program, said "American workers are at the bottom" of Clinton's priority list, and said the strategy is to hold U.S. workers "hostage" to get amnesty for illegal aliens.

Kim Berry, president of the Programmer's Guild, said that Clinton's comments show that she understands the negative impact that immigrants -- both illegal and visa holders that displace tech workers -- can have on U.S. workers.

"What I did not hear was her proposal to fix the problem," said Berry. "Is she willing to call for suspension and reform of the H-1B program? Is she willing to oppose comprehensive immigration reform 'amnesty,' which would give millions of low-skilled American jobs to illegal immigrants?"

Or is Clinton "merely offering some pity for the victims of the policies that she has, and will continue, to support?"

Leo Perrero, a former Disney IT worker who trained his replacement, said "we have finally witnessed Hilary Clinton commenting on the H-1B abuses happening all over the country. This is a good thing that more Americans are being educated and that now both presidential candidates are speaking out on this topic."

But, Perrero said, even after all the recent attention on the H-1B visa, there are three reform bills "sitting on the desks of our senators and they appear to be going nowhere and will expire at the end of this Congress in January if no action is taken."

Those bills include a longstanding effort by Sens. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) and Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) to require employers "to first make a good faith effort to recruit American workers" before bringing in a visa worker.

 

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