Donald Trump and Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder may be aligned on the issue of increasing the number of work visas issued to foreigners with college degrees.
Trump startled his supporters by appearing to reverse course on the issue during a March 3 candidate debate in Detroit.
“I'm changing. I'm changing,” Trump said in response to a question from Fox News personality Megyn Kelly. He continued:
We need highly skilled people in this country, and if we can't do it, we'll get them in. But, and we do need in Silicon Valley, we absolutely have to have.
So, we do need highly skilled, and one of the biggest problems we have is people go to the best colleges. They'll go to Harvard, they'll go to Stanford, they'll go to Wharton, as soon as they're finished they'll get shoved out. They want to stay in this country. They want to stay here desperately, they're not able to stay here. For that purpose, we absolutely have to be able to keep the brain power in this country.
While many Trump voters probably regard Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder as part of the Republican Party’s “establishment,” on this issue he and Trump appear to agree. Among proposals for returning Detroit to greatness, Snyder has called on the federal government to issue “50,000 employment-based visas for skilled immigrants and entrepreneurs.”
Whether the Snyder-Trump alignment is real on even this narrow slice of the policy debate remains to be seen. After the March 3 debate, Trump posted a statement reasserting his opposition to more visas for low-skill workers, but also attacking the H-1B visa program for workers with college degrees.
Permission to reprint this blog post in whole or in part is hereby granted, provided that the author (or authors) and the Mackinac Center for Public Policy are properly cited.
Permission to reprint any comments below is granted only for those comments written by Mackinac Center policy staff.
Get insightful commentary and the most reliable research on Michigan issues sent straight to your inbox.
The Mackinac Center for Public Policy is a nonprofit research and educational institute that advances the principles of free markets and limited government. Through our research and education programs, we challenge government overreach and advocate for a free-market approach to public policy that frees people to realize their potential and dreams.
Please consider contributing to our work to advance a freer and more prosperous state.