What About Trump's Comments on Foreign Workers?

By John Miano on March 5, 2016

On Friday I joined my co-author Michelle Malkin at a CPAC book signing for Sold Out: How High-Tech Billionaires & Bipartisan Beltway Crapweasels Are Screwing America's Best & Brightest Workers.

It is great to spend time with Michelle and it would take several pages to list the superlatives to describe her and working with her. You only need fear Michelle if you are a crapweasel!

On my Thursday drive to the Washington area, my GPS directed me off I-95 while in Delaware, adding 2 hours to the calculated length of the trip. Because I was in no rush, I followed the GPS. Yet sadly, the off-the-beaten-track route just took me through strip malls and Baltimore.

My phone started buzzing continuously as I approached the hotel. I thought World War III might have started, so I pulled over to the side to check what was happening. I had been bombarded with "TRUMP FLIP-FLOPS ON H-1B" messages from people watching the Republican presidential debate.

I got to the hotel in time to see much of the debate and I was able to find news articles on what happened. Right after the debate, the Trump team released a clarification.

The timing of Trump's statement made it particularly shocking. The previous weekend he had American workers who had been replaced at Disney endorse him at a rally in Alabama.

Friday morning I saw the video of the debate. This was not the first time Trump had gone off the reservation on the foreign labor issue. What was disturbing was how closely Trump recited industry talking points. The New York Times accurately quoted my assessment of the range of damage: "The generous view is that he might not fully understand the alphabet soup of visas. The worst case is that this is what he really believes."

The great positive was how firmly Ted Cruz stood up for American workers in response. I am convinced that Cruz made a genuine change of position on H-1B and not a cynical flip-flop.

What's next then if you think the problem of replacing Americans with foreign workers needs to be addressed?

You need to be thinking for the long term. Electing President Trump (or Cruz or Sanders) is not going to be a silver bullet. If Trump be elected, American workers will still have to be relentless in their demands that the foreign worker system be changed.

On the other hand, make no mistake about it: If America elects Marco Rubio or Hillary Clinton president, it is an absolute certainty that lobbyists will continue to run Washington and we will have no hope of change for the next four to eight years.

Has Donald Trump been hurt by his comments at Thursday's debate?

Yes, some. Fortunately for Mr. Trump he owns the foreign-worker issue. Trump deserves all the credit for this being an issue in a presidential campaign for the first time. None of the other candidates have been able to take the issue away from him. While Sanders and Cruz have been good on the issue, it does not appear to be at the forefront of their campaigns and I have not seen them featuring replaced Americans making endorsements at their rallies. It is going to take more than this statement for Trump to give the issue away.

I have been at this for 22 years now. Disappointments like this are nothing new. Americans need to vigilant and let the presidential candidates know that their support before and after the election depends upon their commitment to protecting American workers.