Posted on September 2, 2004

Republicans Favour Hike In H-1B Visas

Aziz Haniffa, (India), Aug. 31

The Republican Party has said that the education reforms it has proposed in the United States will “over time, greatly increase the number of highly qualified workers in all sectors of the American economy,” but “to meet immediate needs, we support increasing the number of H-1B visas to ensure high-tech workers in specialised positions.”

The party platform adopted this stand on the first day of the GOP convention that kicked off at Madison Square Garden in New York.

But the part was quick to add a caveat: the H-1B visas to high-tech workers would be increased provided ‘such workers do not pose a national security risk.’

The platform also said that Republicans would work to expand the H-2A programme for the temporary agricultural workers ‘so important to the nation’s farms.’

It also said it is imperative to ‘reorganise family unification preferences to give priority to spouses and children, rather than extended family members.’

The platform also emphasised that it “needed skills in determining eligibility for admission,” and in this regard said that it is imperative “to overhaul the failed Labor Certification Program to end the huge delays in matching qualified workers with urgent work.”

Declaring that America’s “ethnic diversity within a shared national culture is unique in all the world,” it said, “we benefit from our differences, but we must also strengthen the ties that bind us to one another.”

The platform acknowledged that the United States has “reaped enormous human capital in the genius and talent and industry,” of immigrants and said, “Our country still attracts the best and brightest to invent here, create wealth here, improve the quality of life here.”

“As a nation of immigrants, “it noted, “we welcome all new Americans who have entered lawfully and are prepared to follow our laws and provide for themselves and their families. In their search for a better life, they strengthen our economy, enrich our culture, and defend the nation in war and in peace.”