Sen. Orrin Hatch makes a pitch for H-1B visa program to Donald Trump

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Senator Orrin Hatch, the Senate Finance Committee Chairman, has said he doesn’t expect President Donald Trump to crack down on the H-1B visa program.

Speaking to Consult’, a media technology company, Hatch said that he has discussed the economic benefits of preserving and expanding the H-1B visa program. Trump agreed with him, and will take a pragmatic approach to the issue, said Hatch.

“Anything that creates jobs, anything that moves this economy forward. And I think he can put political feelings aside. And I expect him to, and I’ll make sure he does,” Hatch said.

Hatch is expected to roll out a tech-focused “Innovation Agenda for the 115th Congress,” in which he’s likely to push for an increase in H-1B visas. He made a similar effort in 2015 to raise the annual cap of H-1B visas to between 115,000 to 195,000, based on market conditions.

“While some have expressed some reservations about the impact of high-skilled immigration on American jobs, I believe we can and will be able to make a convincing case for reform. The data is on our side,” Hatch, who met Trump some two weeks ago, was quoted as saying.

He said Trump appears to recognize the importance of the high-skilled guest worker program for overall job growth and economic productivity. He exuded confidence that he can convince Trump that the data on H-1B visas shows how the program benefits American workers and the US economy, the report said.

(The headline was revised on Feb. 16, 2017)

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