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Trump Staffs Strategic and Policy Forum with Some H-1B Enthusiasts

President-elect Donald Trump is establishing a Strategic and Policy Forum, which will meet with him for the first time at the White House in February, to share ideas with Trump as he “implements his plan to bring back jobs,” according to Trump’s transition team.

The Forum will be comprised of many business leaders, but at least three of the 16 members have a history of supporting the importation of foreign workers.

For example, Disney’s CEO Bob Iger oversaw the firing and replacement of hundreds of American workers in late 2014. Iger had been a Hillary Clinton supporter during the 2016 election and even hosted a Hollywood fundraiser for Clinton in August at a billionaire’s gated home in Beverly Hills.

Iger also serves as a co-chair of the Partnership for a New American Economy, a group that advocates for the expansion of the foreign worker H-1B program.

One of the principles of the Partnership for a New American Economy, according to its website is to grow “opportunities for immigrants to enter the United States workforce — and for foreign students to stay in the United States to work — so that we can attract and keep the best, the brightest and the hardest-working, who will strengthen our economy.”

Another Forum member, JPMorgan Chase’s Chief Executive Jamie Dimon, previously suggested foreign students should stay and work in the United States instead of returning home.

“All these kids who come from around the world, who get advanced degrees, you know, our best universities in the world, science, technology, and we send them home,” Dimon stated.

Students must request a visa to stay in the United States after one year post-graduation as they are permitted to work in America for the first year after they receive their degree, according to The Hill.

“Let them stay, let them build companies. A lot of these companies were built by immigrants,” Dimon stated.

Also the President and CEO of Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. Doug McMillon sits on Trump’s Strategic and Policy Forum, but as previously reported, Wal-Mart has a history of importing foreign workers and displacing American workers through the H-1B visa program. For instance, the Huffington Post noted that “Walmart filed 1,800 petitions for H-1B visas over the last eight years, with the annual number increasing from 79 in 2007 up to 513 in 2014.”

“Walmart is driving down standards in the tech industry in the U.S. by using H-1B visas and contractors excessively,” read a 2015 AFL-CIO report. “This keeps costs low and allows for IT guest workers to be paid less.”

Other members on Trump’s Forum include:

  • Stephen A. Schwarzman (Forum Chairman), Chairman, CEO, and Co-Founder of Blackstone;
  • Paul Atkins, CEO, Patomak Global Partners, LLC, Former Commissioner of the Securities and Exchange Commission;
  • Mary Barra, Chairman and CEO, General Motors;
  • Toby Cosgrove, CEO, Cleveland Clinic;
  • Larry Fink, Chairman and CEO, BlackRock;
  • Rich Lesser, President and CEO, Boston Consulting Group;
  • Jim McNerney, Former Chairman, President, and CEO, Boeing;
  • Adebayo “Bayo” Ogunlesi, Chairman and Managing Partner, Global Infrastructure Partners;
  • Ginni Rometty, Chairman, President, and CEO, IBM;
  • Kevin Warsh, Shepard Family Distinguished Visiting Fellow in Economics, Hoover Institute, Former Member of the Board of Governors of the Federal Reserve System;
  • Mark Weinberger, Global Chairman and CEO, EY;
  • Jack Welch, Former Chairman and CEO, General Electric;
  • Daniel Yergin, Pulitzer Prize-winner, Vice Chairman of IHS Markit;

The group is chaired by Co-founder and CEO of Blackstone Stephen A. Schwarzman.

According to Trump’s press release, which was sent on Friday:

Members of the Forum will be charged with providing their individual views to the President – informed by their unique vantage points in the private sector – on how government policy impacts economic growth, job creation, and productivity. The Forum is designed to provide direct input to the President from many of the best and brightest in the business world in a frank, non-bureaucratic, and non-partisan manner.

“This forum brings together CEOs and business leaders who know what it takes to create jobs and drive economic growth,” stated Trump. “My administration is committed to drawing on private sector expertise and cutting the government red tape that is holding back our businesses from hiring, innovating, and expanding right here in America.”

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