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Trump’s Social Media Company Files for H-1B Visa Despite Past Opposition

The company behind former President Donald Trump’s social media platform, Truth Social, has stirred controversy by applying for an H-1B visa, which Trump previously sought to restrict during his presidency. 

The company, Trump Media & Technology Group, filed the application in June 2022 for a position with a $65,000 annual salary, the minimum allowed under the program. 

Although the visa was approved a few months later, the company later stated that it ultimately did not hire the worker.

This move has highlighted a potential contradiction between Trump’s business practices and his political rhetoric, which has often emphasized a “Hire American” ethos. 

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Credits: DepositPhotos

During his administration, Trump implemented policies aimed at curbing the use of the H-1B visa program by American companies, stating that it undermined domestic workers by allowing firms to hire foreign workers at lower wages.

The application was reportedly made under previous management, and the current CEO, Devin Nunes, terminated the process in November 2022 after discovering it. 

This decision aligns with Trump’s previous critiques of the H-1B program, despite his businesses’ history of utilizing it for hiring foreign models and hospitality workers.

Adding to the complexity, a former senior vice president of operations at Trump Media & Technology Group, Will Wilkerson, who is listed as the employer in the application, later filed a whistleblower complaint against the company, alleging securities violations. 

He was subsequently dismissed from his position.

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Credits: DepositPhotos – 12.07.2018. BRUSSELS, BELGIUM. Press conference of Donald Trump, President of United States of America, during NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization) SUMMIT 2018 — Photo by gints.ivuskans

Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order in 2017 sought to reform the H-1B visa system to prioritize higher-paid and higher-skilled applicants to protect American workers. 

However, his administration saw increased scrutiny and higher rates of denial for H-1B visa applications, particularly from the tech sector which heavily relies on this visa type.

Moreover, the debate over the H-1B program is underscored by a broader discussion on its impact on American businesses, particularly smaller tech companies that benefit significantly from the skilled labor it brings. 

Economists like Nicolas Morales from the Federal Reserve Bank of Richmond have noted that securing an H-1B visa can significantly enhance a small company’s survival prospects by allowing access to necessary skilled labor that may not be available domestically.

The application by Kushner’s investment firm, which proposed a $200,000 salary for a foreign employee, represents another layer of complexity, as it contrasts with the lower salary offered in the Truth Social application. 

Kushner, Trump’s son-in-law, has meanwhile distanced himself from the Trump campaign to focus on his own business endeavors.

As debates continue, the use of H-1B visas remains a contentious issue, reflecting the ongoing tension between the needs of U.S. businesses for skilled labor and the political push to prioritize American workers.

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