Vivek Ramaswamy on H-1B visas: 'Indentured servitude' that should be gutted
Vivek Ramaswamy himself has used the visa programme 29 times as from 2018 through 2023.
Indian-American Republican presidential aspirant Vivek Ramaswamy called the H-1B visa programme “indentured servitude”, vowing to “gut” the lottery-based system and replace it with meritocratic admission if he wins the race to the White House next year. The H-1B visa is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations which require theoretical or technical expertise.
Vivek Ramaswamy himself has used the visa programme 29 times as from 2018 through 2023, US Citizenship and Immigration Services approved 29 applications for his former company, Roivant Sciences, to hire employees under H-1B visas.
Vivek Ramaswamy said that the H-1B system is “bad for everyone involved", as per Politico. “The lottery system needs to be replaced by actual meritocratic admission. It’s a form of indentured servitude that only accrues to the benefit of the company that sponsored an H-1B immigrant. I’ll gut it,” he said in a statement.
“The people who come as family members are not the meritocratic immigrants who make skills-based contributions to this country," he continued.
Vivek Ramaswamy stepped down as chief executive officer of Roivant in February 2021, but remained the chair of the company’s board of directors until February this year.
On mismatch between Republican presidential hopeful’s policy stance and his past business practices, his press secretary Tricia McLaughlin said the role of a policymaker “is to do what’s right for a country overall: the system is broken and needs to be fixed," explaining, “Vivek believes that regulations overseeing the U.S. energy sector are badly broken, but he still uses water and electricity. This is the same.”
Earlier, Vivek Ramaswamy had said during his opening remarks at the first Republican debate in Milwaukee, “My parents came to this country with no money 40 years ago. I have gone on to found multi-billion-dollar companies.”