No one turned up their nose and everyone was all ears. US President Donald Trump and top tech titans from Silicon Valley engaged in a spirit of constructive cooperation on Monday despite deep misgivings, a meeting that appeared to result, among other things, in a softening of the Trump administration's hardline stance on work visas.
Calling them 'special people' who are at the 'absolute cutting edge of innovation,' Trump pledged to work 'very diligently with everybody, including Congress, on immigration so that you can get the people you want in your companies.'
The meeting, helmed by Trump's son-in-law Jared Kushner and Trump's almost solitary support from Silicon Valley, the billionaire investor Peter Thiel, had listed the H-1B visa issue for discussion. White House spokesman Sean Spicer had said the President 'is going into this meeting to listen' - and evidently he did. "It's been a tremendous problem that you've had over the past long period of time. So we're working very hard on that and we'll be able to solve that problem," Trump promised, casting what New Delhi insists is purely a trade and commerce matter as an immigration issue.
The question posed in a briefing document for attendees to the meeting was "How can the H1-B visa program be modified to ensure that visas are issued to the highest-skilled and highest-paid workers, while also eliminating examples of the program's abuse?"It was the first time Trump had responded directly and positively to complaints from Silicon Valley.