Last Updated on June 8, 2021
Sen. Thom Tillis, the Republican who was narrowly reelected in 2020 after National File published salacious texts from a potentially illegal affair between his Democrat opponent, Cal Cunningham, and the wife of a U.S. Army veteran, claims that the United States should increase the number of Indian tech workers in the country, and should automatically give citizenship to foreign students who graduate from American colleges and universities. The remarks were made in a 2017 speech, made shortly after President Trump was inaugurated.
Per the Charlotte Observer, Tillis made the remarks in a speech before an Indian-American audience attending a 2017 Washington, D.C. event organized by the US-India Friendship Council and US-India Business Counsel. Tillis’s remarks were first made publicly available by Indian news outlets, and were later picked up by American outlets.
Though President Donald Trump repeatedly slammed H-1B visas as “very, very bad” and argued that they took jobs from American workers and gave them to foreign workers – who are locked in to a certain pay scale and are thus paid less than their native born American counterparts – Tillis is apparently a staunch supporter of the policy, and wants to see it expanded. “We need that talent to come in and fill these jobs if we want to continue to be the leader in innovation and in research,” Tillis reportedly said last week. “These are very, very important jobs for the U.S. to continue to maintain its competitive advantage as the greatest innovative nation that has ever existed.”
He then repeated a popular establishment Republican talking point. “We should have a policy that basically staples a green card on the back of [a foreign student’s] diploma,” said Tillis, “because it creates American jobs when we do that right.”
Tillis’s remarks resurface as new North Carolina Republicans take an increasingly populist view and present possible challenges to entrenched politicians from the state. As National File reported, North Carolina Lt. Gov. Mark Robinson recently delivered a fiery speech full of pro-Trump and populist remarks, and heavily criticized left wing race hustlers. “I remember I made this particular liberal so angry at me because I told ‘em right to their face, ‘Nobody owes you anything for slavery,’” Robinson said. “If you want to tell the truth about it, it is you who owes. It’s you who owe. Why do you owe? Because somebody in those fields took those strikes for you,” he continued.