Rubio: Address H-1B Visa Loopholes, Deport People Who Overstay Their Visas

Florida Senator and Republican presidential candidate Marco Rubio argued the US needs to address loopholes in the H-1B visa system and “absolutely” deport people who overstay their visas on Wednesday’s “Mark Levin Show.”

Rubio said there are two problems with the H-1B visas, the first is the “outsource mechanism” loophole corporations will “close down their IT department, or their whatever department, and they’re — they go into these companies like Tata, or one of these other outsourcing companies. These outsourcing companies hold 100 H-1B visas of foreign workers primarily from India, and they bring them in. They basically fire the American workers that are working there, before they let them go, they force them to re-train the employees of this company that they hired, and then they use these H-1Bs, through these subcontractors, to bring in this entirely new workforce. That is not the intent of the existing H-1B.”

He continued that this loophole has to be addressed “primarily by dealing with these Indian companies that are doing this.”

Rubio added that the second problem is the companies are only “attesting” that they tried to hire an American worker, and don’t have to prove it, which is also violating the law and is a loophole that needs to be closed.

When asked if the US needs more H-1B visas, Rubio stated that he’s advocated for an increase is “because if you legitimately do need to bring more people in, they’re going to want their — they have family. So, they’re going to want to bring their husband, or their wife, or their children, and they count towards that cap. The issue is not the sheer numbers. The number, the quota would never be met if you’re dealing with the strict requirement of it, which is, you’re not displacing an American worker.”

Rubio then turned to another facet of legal immigration. He stated that he would end chain migration and shift the immigration system to a merit-based system instead of a family-based system. Rubio added that under a merit-based system “the numbers [of immigrants] in any given year may not be as high as they are now.”

When asked if he would “slow down” the amount of immigration to allow for assimilation, Rubio responded that under a merit-based system, the numbers of immigrants would “initially, especially would slow down.” He also argued, “As far as the assimilation argument, I actually think that’s another argument for a merit-based [system]. When you come on a merit-based system, it’s because you’re coming to work, and become ingrained into American society. You have to assimilate to be economically successful, as opposed to simply coming for family reunification purpose. Now, I’m not saying that there isn’t going to be a room for political asylum, for refugees –.”

The discussion then turned to visa overstays, Rubio said he would address the problem with an entry-exit tracking system, and a “mandatory” E-Verify system. He further said the criteria for issuing visas should be stricter in order to weed out likely overstays. Rubio continued that a combination of the entry-exit and E-Verify systems would catch anyone who overstayed their visa and tried to find work. He also said these steps should be in addition to “fencing on the borders, and walls on the key sectors of the border.”

He was then asked, “And they should be deported, correct?” Rubio responded, “Absolutely. You’ve got to enforce the law.”

Follow Ian Hanchett on Twitter @IanHanchett


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