President Trump signs executive order targeting foreign work visas

Adjust Comment Print

This week he signed an executive order this week which would direct federal agencies to "Buy American, Hire American".

The order is expected to tighten the process of issuing H-1B visas and potentially create an "entirely new structure" for awarding these visas mostly used by technology professionals. He was signing the directive at Snap-on Kenosha, Wisconsin, a state he narrowly carried in November on the strength of support from white, working-class voters. Stating that it will wait for details of specific proposals under consideration, Nasscom pointed out that the current campaign to discredit the over Dollars 110 billion Indian IT sector is driven by "persistent myths".

Trump was a businessman before he was elected President past year, and his companies have been criticized for using visa programmes to fill positions at Trump properties with foreign workers.

Trump has traveled to promote his agenda less than his recent predecessors.

The new order would direct USA agencies to propose rules to prevent immigration fraud and abuse in the program.

"Simply put, it appears that the agencies are asked to review policies related to all visa programs and recommend changes to root out "fraud and abuse", and to propose additional reforms so that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid applicants", the association said in a statement.

In the document, known to the White House as the "Buy American and Hire American" order, the President also seeks changes in government procurement that would boost purchases of U.S. products in federal contracts. The commerce secretary will review how to close loopholes in existing rules and provide recommendations to the president. The waivers could be renegotiated or revoked if they are not benefiting the United States.

The trip brought Trump to the congressional district of House Speaker Paul Ryan, but Ryan was out of the country on a congressional trip.

Venezuela Protest Against Government: Photos & Videos From the Scene
Anti-government protesters rest during a break in clashes with security forces in Caracas, Venezuela, Wednesday, April 19, 2017. Maduro said he was expanding civilian militias created by his predecessor, the late Hugo Chavez and giving each member a gun.

The presidential order requires the US departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State to come up with a plan to stop the "fraud and abuse" of the programme.

Trump has long pledged to support American goods and workers, but his own business record is mixed. Many Trump-branded products, like clothing, are made overseas. His businesses have also hired foreign workers, including at his Palm Beach, Florida, club.

Presently, the U.S. government uses a lottery to award 65,000 visas every year and randomly distributes another 20,000 to graduate student workers. "We are talking to clients about offshoring more work to India, and the work done by junior employees can be brought to India", the report said citing one executive at the company, as saying. "And we should end it".

"We remain hopeful that further dialogue between the government and business leaders in both the US and India will lead to a better understanding of the high-skill visa issues and the US-India strategic partnership, and that such dialogue will lead to constructive reforms", it added.

Specifically, Trump's administration believes the current system led to a "flood" of relatively low-wage, low-skill workers in the tech sector.

The H-1B visas are the most sought after work visas by the Indian nationals and it's the largest group of H-1B recipients annually. US workers are sometimes asked to train their replacements to qualify for severance packages.

These forthcoming administrative and legislative measures will specially target the H-1B visa programme under which Indian technology companies bring thousands of computer professionals to the US every year. But he added, "It's not as aggressive as it needs to be".

Snap-on makes hand and power tools, diagnostics software, information and management systems, and shop equipment for use in various industries, including agriculture, the military and aviation.