With Fiorina pick, Cruz’s H-1B stance now in question

Will GOP candidate go from H-1B supporter to visa critic to...?

Reuters/Aaron P. Bernstein

In 2013, Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) emerged as one of the Senate's top H-1B visa supporters, and argued for a 500% H-1B visa cap increase. But during his bid for the Republican presidential nomination, Cruz had a conversion.

Cruz's presidential platform proposed a $110,000 minimum wage for visa workers, among other restrictions, as a way ending their use as low-cost labor. The move marked a complete turnabout on the H-1B issue.

Cruz's decision Wednesday to add former Hewlett-Packard CEO Carly Fiorina (and one-time GOP presidential candidate herself) as his running mate if he wins the nomination, may make his newly found H-1B beliefs a hard sell.

At HP, Fiorina was a prominent supporter of the offshore outsourcing model, said Ron Hira, an associate professor of public policy at Howard University, who wrote about Fiorina's approaches in his book, Outsourcing America.

"To pump up profits, she was an early adopter of the practice, which given HP's status as a leading Silicon Valley firm, pushed other firms to adopt offshoring," said Hira. "It set a precedent that technology firms would now pursue profits through offshoring and that meant that Wall Street would hound executives in other firms to do the same."

As offshoring gained, Fiorina played a leading role in defending globalization.

To make her point, in 2004, Fiorina said: "There is no job that is America's God-given right anymore," reported the San Francisco Chronicle.

Last September, political talk show host Laura Ingraham asked Fiorina about that controversial quote; Fiorina said she stood by it. "We have to fight for every job," according to a recording posted by Ingraham.

When Ingraham brought up Disney's layoff of 200 to 300 IT employees last year, some of whom had to train their visa-hold replacements, Fiorina said "shame on them (Disney) -- we should never support that kind of policy."

Donald Trump, the billionaire businessman who is leading the Republican presidential delegate count and appears to be on track to defeat Cruz for the nomination, has proposed curbing the use of the H-1B visa.

By teaming up with Fiorina, said John Miano, the founder of the Programmers Guild and co-author of a book about the H-1B visa with columnist Michelle Malkin, Sold Out, Cruz will lose the support of visa critics with Fiorina.

"The advantage Trump has had over Cruz is that Trump is perceived as being the one more likely to cast the money-changers out of the temple," said Miano.


Copyright © 2016 IDG Communications, Inc.

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