When it comes to immigration, Vivek Ramaswamy takes a do-as-I-say-not-as-I-do approach. Here is what the Republican presidential candidate has planned for foreign workers if he lands in the Oval Office.
Son of Immigrants
GOP presidential candidate Vivek Ramaswamy has an inspiring story and one that gives hope to anyone who finds themselves in a tough spot.
Both of Ramaswamy’s parents immigrated to the United States, and both built impressive careers.
Ramaswamy himself was born in the U.S. and had the sort of privileged but pressured childhood that comes from being pushed by a couple of Type-A overachievers.
His parents’ work ethic and smarts seem to have rubbed off on Ramaswamy, as the 38-year-old has, by his own calculation, founded multiple billion-dollar companies.
Made Millions Employing Immigrants
What Ramaswamy isn’t so quick to point out is that he built much of his riches on the backs of other immigrants.
In particular, Ramaswamy’s companies hired 29 immigrants on H-1B visas from 2018 to 2023.
Those employees were key to the success of those ventures, but Ramaswamy apparently isn’t so fond of the system that gave him his leg up.
Plans to Gut “Lottery” VISA System
Speaking to Politico in mid-September, Ramaswamy said he plans to “gut” the H-1B program if he’s elected. He thinks it’s a pretty bad deal for everyone.
Instead of the current system, which Ramaswamy calls a “lottery,” he wants to build a worker immigration program built solely on merit.
Wants to End “Chain-Based” Immigration
One of the biggest changes Ramaswamy wants to make is to kill what he calls “chain-based” immigration, which has some leeway from family members of workers.
According to Ramaswamy, those family members aren’t worthy of tagging along because they do not “make skills-based contributions to this country.”
Isn’t the GOP candidate being two-faced since he benefited so richly from the system he wants to destroy?
No way, says Tricia McLaughlin, Ramaswamy’s press secretary. Her take is that he was just using the advantages available to him.
Wants to Fix a “Broken” System
But, according to McLaughlin, the system is broken, and Ramaswamy is intent on fixing it if he takes the highest office in the land.
She even draws a comparison to another area where Ramaswamy uses a system that doesn’t sit well with his core.
“Vivek believes that regulations overseeing the U.S. energy sector are badly broken, but he still uses water and electricity,” McLaughlin says.
Ramaswamy’s bluster around H-1B visas fits with the overall tenor of his campaign to this point.
Ramaswamy a Younger Version of Trump?
Many have compared him to the 2016 version of Donald Trump. Like the Trump of 2016, Ramaswamy is an outsider who has never held office and who promises to blow up the status quo.
Trump also laid the groundwork for this H-1B rhetoric. Like Ramaswamy, the former president used immigrants to run his businesses before suspending the visa program when he took office.
So, can Ramaswamy really win votes by turning on his own roots? Hey, it worked for his apparent political role model!
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