Donald Trump issued a statement on visas for highly-skilled foreign workers following the Thursday night Republican presidential debate in an attempt to clarify his comment that he was “softening” his position.
Trump said that he is still “totally committed to eliminating rampant, widespread H-1B abuse” in the statement released early Friday morning.
“I will end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program, and institute an absolute requirement to hire American workers first for every visa and immigration program. No exceptions,” Trump added in the statement.
During the debate, Fox News moderator Megyn Kelly asked Trump if he still believes that giving more H-1B visas to skilled foreign workers would “decimate” workers in the United States.
“I’m changing,” Trump said in response. “We need highly skilled people in this country. If we can’t do it, we will get them in.”
The real estate mogul then said that he was “softening the position because we have to have talented people in this country.”
In his Friday morning statement, Trump said that the H-1B program is not for highly-skilled workers.
“Megyn Kelly asked about highly-skilled immigration. The H-1B program is neither high-skilled nor immigration: these are temporary foreign workers, imported from abroad, for the explicit purpose of substituting for American workers at lower pay,” he said.
“I remain totally committed to eliminating rampant, widespread H-1B abuse and ending outrageous practices such as those that occurred at Disney in Florida when Americans were forced to train their foreign replacements,” Trump continued, referring to reports that Disney World laid off American workers and then hired temporary immigrant workers.