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Obama Talks Drones, Guantanamo; Congress Battles H-1B Visas

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Chapter 1: President addresses drones and Guantanamo

The president gave an hour speech today at National Defense University in which he signaled changes in the U.S. drone program and a renewed committment to close the U.S. detention facility at Guantanamo. We will get a first hand account from Sam Marrero, a Middle East researcher who was in attendance. Then we'll hear from CodePink's Medea Benjamin who was also in attendance and managed to interrupt the president with her calls to close Guantanamo immediately. Then we'll hear from Gabor Rona of Human Rights First about how much we can expect from the administration going forward. 

Chapter 2: Congress battles over just how far to expand visas for highly skilled immigrant workers.

 

As part of an immigration reform proposal, the U.S. Senate Judiciary committee called for an increase in H-1B visas, visas given to immigrants with high-tech skills, such as those in the so-called STEM fields. The issue is largely bi-partisan, with the Democratic led committee approving this increase… and, in fact, Republicans in the House of Representatives have called the increase insufficient and countered with the SKILLS Visa Act, expanding the program by another 30,000 visas. However, not everyone is happy Congress is likely to pass some kind of increase in the near future. My first guest on the issue says the call for more skilled immigrants is merely pre-text for companies to pay less for high-value labor. Norman Matloff is a Professor at UCLA where he teaches Computer Science.

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