Cleveland: Concerned over alarming levels of unemployment in the US, the Republican party favours reforming the guest workers’ programmes, which include H-1B visa system, indicating a drastic reduction in the green cards issued every year that could impact Indian IT professionals.

“In light of both current needs and historic practice, we urge the reform of our guest worker programmes to eliminate fraud, improve efficiency and ensure they serve the national interest," said the Republican platform, which was approved by the party leadership on Monday during its ongoing convention here.

“In light of the alarming levels of unemployment and underemployment in this country, it is indefensible to continue offering lawful permanent residence to more than one million foreign nationals every year," the platform said.

Currently, Indians have the longest waiting list for green cards. In case of any reduction in the number of such cards being issued every year, that might further delay the process. However, the platform, which talks in details about the immigration policy does not specifically mention about the H-1B visa programme but the language on guest workers is seen as a move to reform the H-1B visas system.

Donald Trump, the Republican presidential nominee, has been against increase in H-1B visas and has also called for increasing the salary of those coming to the US on H-1B visas. The platform said the Supreme Court has correctly recognised that states have the constitutional authority to take steps to reduce illegal immigration.

“We condemn the Obama Administration’s lawsuits against states that are seeking to reinforce federal law. We support the right of the states to enact laws deterring illegal aliens from residing within their states," it said.

“From its beginning, our country has been a haven of refuge and asylum. That should continue — but with major changes. Asylum should be limited to cases of political, ethnic or religious persecution. As the Director of the FBI has noted, it is not possible to vet fully all potential refugees.

“To ensure our national security, refugees who cannot be carefully vetted cannot be admitted to the country, especially those whose homelands have been the breeding grounds for terrorism," the platform said.

While the platform calls for deportation of illegal immigrants, it praises the role of legal immigrants. “The greatest asset of the American economy is the American worker. Our immigration system must protect American working families and their wages, for citizens and legal immigrants alike, in a way that will improve the economy," it said. PTI