Trump signs order on high-skilled worker visas

19 April, 2017, 01:48 | Author: Alejandro Stokes
  • Trump to push'Buy American Hire American policy at Wisconsin visit

Trump will sign the executive order during a trip Tuesday to Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he will tour the headquarters of Snap-on-Tools, a high-end tools manufacturer, and deliver a speech about United States manufacturing, CNN reported.

Though the executive order does not take direct action to fundamentally change either portion, rather initiating a series of reviews and assessments and calling on federal departments to begin proposing reforms to the programs.

Speaking at the headquarters of Wisconsin-based toolmaker Snap-on, Trump said that the order "declares that the policy of our government is to aggressively promote and use American-made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job".

The order is an attempt by Trump to carry out his "America First" campaign pledges to reform USA immigration policies and encourage purchases of American products.

Shea, in fact, said he already uses a service called Upwork.com to hire overseas tech workers, and any increase in USA salaries resulting from the Trump executive order would cause him to hire more talent through the freelance job site.

Some 85,000 H-1B visas are issued annually and many of them, in recent years, have been snapped up by outsourcing firms that provide low-priced IT support to American corporations.

As he nears the 100-day benchmark of his presidency, Trump still has no major legislative achievements.

The order is said to take square aim at what officials referred to as "unreciprocal trade" with foreign contractors the US has trade agreements with through the World Trade Organization Agreement on Government Procurement. Wisconsin unexpectedly voted for the Republican previous year, partly due to his promises to bring back industrial jobs.

"This executive order will call for the strict enforcement of all laws governing entry into the United States of labor from overseas for the stated goal of creating higher wages and higher employment rates for workers in the United States", the official said.

According to the senior administration officials, U.S. President is soft on his tone.

Indians aspiring for an H1B visa may find it producing one more hard after Tuesday. They would also be asked to offer changes so that H-1B visas are awarded to the "most-skilled or highest-paid applicants", said administration officials who spoke only on the condition of anonymity despite the president's frequent criticism of the use of anonymous sources.

India's IT software industry representative Nasscom believes that the new order will direct the federal bureaucracy to study more ways to reform and restrict the H-1B system.

The government uses an annual lottery to award visas to about 65,000 workers, mostly computer programmers, engineers and scientists.

Companies say they use visas to recruit top talent.

Immigration authorities already announced earlier in April measures to combat "fraud and abuse" in issuing the visas.

Facebook, Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc were not immediately available for a comment. However, critics argue that the program is being misused by companies that use the visas to import foreigners who can work on lower salaries in the United States, according to ABC7. The administration says it will attempt to change the current "lottery" system for applications to one that prioritizes higher-wage workers.

"The H-1B visa program is commonly discussed as being for when employers have a labor shortage", said Daniel Costa, director of immigration law and policy research at the Economic Policy Institute.

It warned that any onerous additional restrictions to the visa program would "hurt thousands of USA businesses and their efforts to be more competitive", by hindering access to needed talent.

The United States issues 85,000 of the permits each year.

Perhaps the most notorious case cited during the campaign was at the Walt Disney Company in Florida, where American technology workers claimed they were laid off and forced to train foreign replacements.

And any changes to the work visa process in the U.S. is bad news for India's $150bn IT service industry.

President Donald Trump has signed an executive order to tighten the rules for technology companies seeking to bring highly skilled foreign workers to the U.S.

The program "is supposed to be a means for bringing in skilled labor", the official said.

"This is a transitional step to get towards a more skill-based and merit-based version", a USA official told AFP.

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