Exclusive RedState Video: Ted Cruz Explains why His Position on H-1B Visas Has Changed

I had the opportunity to sit down yesterday with [mc_name name=’Sen. Ted Cruz (R-TX)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’C001098′ ] at a campaign event in Nashville and ask him several questions. One of the questions I asked was whether Senator Cruz still supported expanding the H-1B visa program, as he has in the past. Senator Cruz indicated that he no longer does, and you can see his explanation here:

Transcript:

RedState: Senator, I think the path to legalization issue has been beaten to death and I won’t go over it again. One of the things you have supported in the past is raising the ceiling on the number of H-1B visas. Is that something you still support?

Ted Cruz: It is not. And in this circumstance, there are changed circumstances, and anyone responds to changed circumstances. I have supported and I still support the original idea of the H-1B program which is to bring in very high skilled workers to produce jobs and economic growth. That’s a good thing, when you have more jobs and economic growth.

However, we have seen in recent months this program being abused over and over and over again. We’ve seen companies, blue chip names that we all know bringing in not high skill workers, but medium to low skill workers, and IT workers, and firing American workers and replacing them with foreign workers. And then, to add insult to injury, forcing the Americans who have just been fired to train their replacements. That is wrong, it is grotesque, it is offensive, it is a perversion of the program.

And so, like any rational person faced with changed circumstances, you change your position in response to how the facts have changed.

That’s why I’ve said that as President, I will impose a 180 day moratorium on the H-1B program, in order to carry out a comprehensive audit of the companies that have received H-1B visas to determine if they are abusing the program – if they are bringing in low skilled workers, if they’re firing American workers, if they’re perverting the program. Any company that has abused the program will be suspended from participating in it, and any company that has violated the criminal laws will be prosecuted.

You know, this is yet another manifestation of the lawlessness of the Obama administration. They don’t enforce the laws, the President decrees illegal and unconstitutional amnesty, but he’s also lawless with big companies that are abusing the H-1B program.

It’s one of the reasons I joined with [mc_name name=’Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-AL)’ chamber=’senate’ mcid=’S001141′ ] in introducing legislation to dramatically reform the H-1B program so that it can function as it’s intended to. To require, for example, an advanced degree, not just a bachelor’s degree, but a master’s or a PhD. To put a preference to U.S. universities. To require as a minimum salary $110,000, so that you’re not using it to bring in low cost foreign workers and replace American workers. To put in a 2 year hiatus from any company bringing in H-1Bs from laying off workers, so you gotta choose one or the other, but you can’t be laying people off at the same time you’re outsourcing.

All of these are reforms that are common sense I think to make the program work. And we need to make sure that our immigration laws prioritize American workers first, and as President, that’s what I’ll do.