Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., agreed with critics of visas for high tech workers, saying that the main federal program has been abused and that stricter regulations were needed. That included barring companies found to have violated the rules when they host workers. In doing so, the Republican candidate took essentially the same position as organized labor groups, making it one of the areas where the two usually antagonistic groups see eye-to-eye on immigration.

Rubio made the comments in response to a question from CNBC's John Harwood during Wednesday's Republican presidential debate. Asked about claims that the tech industry uses the H-1B visa program to "undercut hiring and wages for highly qualified Americans," Rubio said it did indeed happen.

"Well, I believe that there are abuses, those companies should be permanently barred from ever using the program again and we should put strict standards in place to ensure that they're not being abused, like the prevailing wage requirement and like the advertising requirement," Rubio said.

The GOP presidential candidate said before anyone from abroad should be hired, the jobs should first be advertised in the US for 180 days. "You also have to prove that you're going to pay these people more than you would pay someone else, so that you're not undercutting it by bringing in cheap labor," he said.

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