Published: Fri, April 21, 2017
Local | By Adrian Hale

Trump targets visa program he says hurts American workers

Trump targets visa program he says hurts American workers

President Donald Trump signed an executive order in Wisconsin on Tuesday directing federal agencies to implement the "Buy American, Hire American" rhetoric of his campaign.

Trump will sign the so-called "Buy American, Hire American" executive order during a visit to Snap-On Tools in Kenosha, Wis. "We're going to do everything in our power to make sure more p".

The order directs agencies to enforce government rules on excluding foreign contractors from bids for government projects.

American jobs need to be protected and this executive order seems like a good step. "The H-1B program was created to fill gaps in America's workforce with highly-skilled foreign workers, but as we've seen in recent years, the program has been abused and exploited at the expense of American workers and most- qualified foreign workers", he said.

"On paper, the order doesn't change the process much", she says.

Employers from Walt Disney World to the University of California in San Francisco have laid off their tech employees and replaced them with H-1B visa holders.

While other groups in Washington agree replacing the H-1B lottery with a more merit-based system would be beneficial.

H-1B visas are used to fill the US skills gap, but critics, including the Trump administration have voiced concern about abuse of the program.

Trump will sign the order in Wisconsin, a state he won last November with an appeal to blue-collar workers and a promise to revive manufacturing jobs. But according to studies, 80 per cent of the approved applications were for the two lowest wage levels allowed.

At the headquarters of hand and power tool manufacturer Snap-on Inc., Trump signed an order that that asks the government to propose new rules and changes that will stop what he called abuses in a visa program used by USA technology companies. "Why shouldn't we put American companies first?"

The H-1B work visa programme channels thousands of foreign workers to the United States technology industry.

Indian workers receive more than 70% of all H-1B visas, which are initially valid for three years.

The government uses a lottery system to grant 65,000 visas every year and randomly distributes an additional 20,000 to graduate students.

Indian nationals are the largest group of recipients of the H-1B visas issued each year.

What's more, the executive orders will also require federal agencies to review and minimise the use of waivers and exceptions in worldwide trade agreements.

An administration official who briefed reporters in advance named Tata Consultancy Services, Cognizant Technology Solutions Corp and Mphasis Corp as examples of outsourcing companies that would likely have fewer visas approved as the administration's changes are adopted.

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