Vivek Ramaswamy’s comments on H-1B visa have sparked a row

New Delhi:

After the controversy over his comments on the H-1B visa program, Indian-American US presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy said he understands what he wants to reform and stressed that the H-1B program is “pointless”.

In an interview with Politico, Ramaswamy called the H-1B visa program “indentured servitude” and said he would “gut” the lottery-based system and replace it with meritocratic admissions if he is elected US president next year.

The Indian-American entrepreneur, a Republican contender for US president, came into the spotlight after a presidential debate last month. Donald Trump is still leading the Republican race for the top job. The other frontrunners are Ramaswamy, Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis and former U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley.

Ramaswamy’s comments on H-1B are consistent with the tough stance Trump took during his 2016 campaign. However, Trump softened his stance after his election.

Behind the controversy over Ramaswamy’s comments is the fact that an H-1B visa is in high demand among Indian IT professionals. It is a nonimmigrant visa that allows U.S. companies to employ foreign workers in jobs that require theoretical or technical expertise. Interestingly, Ramaswamy has availed the visa program 29 times.

Reacting to the row, Ramaswamy posted on The regulations in the energy sector are badly broken but I still use water and electricity. It turns out that I actually understand the things I want to reform: the foreign visa “lottery” is pointless and the H1-B regime is a form of indentured servitude that is a product of corporate lobbying. I’ll finally fix it.

The Indian-American entrepreneur, who said his parents came to the US “without money,” pushed for tightening immigration policies. He previously said he would use the military to secure borders and deport U.S.-born children of undocumented immigrants.

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