WASHINGTON: A US lawmaker has said the H1-B visa programme is an important tool to attract the best and the brightest from across the world to contribute to the economy of the United States, cautioning the Trump administration against kicking out those who can become competitors.
"The H-1B visa programme is an important tool for attracting and retaining top talent in STEM and we shouldn't kick people out of the country, so they can become our competitors, especially if they were trained and educated in the US," said Congressman Erik Paulsen in a statement.
Mr Paulsen represents a Congressional district in Minnesota which is home to many medical technology companies.
"While we must ensure that the programme is not abused, it is also critical not to turn away some of the brightest minds in the world that can help grow and contribute to our economy," he said.
In a series of tweets, Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren said H1-B reform is needed, but after lots of roll out fanfare it was disappointing to read US President Donald Trump's "Hire American" executive order.
"Trump apparently understands the need to reorient the H1-B programme to the 'best and brightest', but his order appears to do nothing," she said.
"On H1-B, we need to do two things: welcome highly talented people who create jobs and preclude use of programme to undercut the American workforce," Ms Lofgren tweeted.
"Our economy benefits when talented people come to America and create. Nearly half of startups in Silicon Valley are founded by immigrants," the Congresswoman representing Silicon Valley in US House of Representative said.
Last week, senior Trump advisor Stephen Miller held a meeting with a lawyer who represents Americans fired by US companies after being told they would be replaced by H1-B labour.
"The people who are affected by this and know this business model were extremely deflated when the H1B application process started without changes. Now, they've gone from hopeless to hopeful," Attorney Sara Blackwell told Breitbart news. (PTI)