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Donald Trump favours retaining foreign talent in US

October 29, 2015 11:18 IST

'I am in favour of keeping these talented people here so they can go to work in Silicon Valley,' Donald Trump said.

IMAGE: Republican U.S. presidential candidate U.S. Senator Marco Rubio (L) talks with businessman Donald Trump (C) as Dr. Ben Carson (R) looks on during 2016 U.S. Republican presidential candidates' debate. Photograph: Rick Wilking/Reuters

Real estate mogul and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump has said that he is in favour of talented foreign students staying in the US after completing their studies and working in the Silicon Valley.

"I'm in favour of people coming into this country legally. And you know what? They can have it anyway you want. You can call it visas, you can call it work permits, you can call it anything you want," Trump said participating in the third Republican presidential debate.

He was joined by Florida Senator Marco Rubio – despite their past difference on the issue in particular H-1B visas – who said that he supports legal migration that attracts the best of the talented people from across the world.

"I am all in favour of keeping these talented people here so they can go to work in Silicon Valley," Trump said strongly denying that he ever criticised Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg, who has been lobbying hard to expand H-1B work visa – which is highly popular among Indian tech professionals.

"I was not at all critical of him (Zuckerberg). I was not at all. In fact, frankly, he's complaining about the fact that we're losing some of the most talented people. They go to Harvard. They go to Yale. They go to Princeton. They come from another country and they're immediately sent out," he argued.

"As far as the visas are concerned, if we need people, it's fine. They have to come into this country legally. We have a country of borders. We have a country of laws. We have to obey the laws. It's fine if they come in, but they have to come in legally," he said.

Trump also denied having ever said Rubio as a friend of Zuckerberg. Rubio on his part denied the allegations that he is the tech industry saviour because he is supporting the move to increase H-1B visas.

Responding to allegations that the tech industry uses H-1B visa program to undercut hiring and wages for highly qualified Americans, Rubio said if a company gets caught doing that, they should never be able to use the program again.

Describing himself as unpredictable, Trump said it is this unpredictability of his that would help him successfully take on ISIS and other adversaries of the US.

"I like to be unpredictable so that people don't know exactly...," Trump said.

"By the way, unlike our country where we're totally predictable and the enemy, whether it's ISIS or anybody else, they know exactly what we're doing because we have the wrong leadership," he said responding to a question on gun culture.

This was for the first time when Trump was participating in a Republican presidential debate wherein he was not on the top of the latest opinion polls.

Trump said he "might feel more comfortable" if his employees brought guns to work.

The New York-based real estate tycoon said he is going to make a really dynamic economy. "We're going to bring jobs and manufacturing back. We're going to cut costs. We're going to save social security, and we're going to save medicare."

"We will make America great again," Trump added. When asked about his weakness, he said, maybe his greatest weakness is that he trusts people too much. 

Lalit K Jha in Washington
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