Trump signs executive order scrutinizing skilled immigrant visas

Trump signs executive order scrutinizing skilled immigrant visas

U.S. President Donald Trump on Tuesday signed a "Buy American, Hire American" executive order in Kenosha, Wisconsin, initiating visa and government purchase reforms.

President Donald Trump signed a "Buy American" executive order in Wisconsin on Tuesday.

"We're going to defend our workers, protect our jobs, and finally put American first".

The order will set up a 220-day review process of H-1B visas and ask federal agencies to minimize the use of waivers to Buy American policies, among other things.

Ending the H-4 visas that allow spouses of H-1B workers to also work here would reduce the quality of foreign applicants to the H-1B program while producing no benefits for US workers, the group warned.

"The current campaign to discredit our sector is driven by persistent myths, such as the ideas that H-1B visa holders are "cheap labor" and "displace American workers" who 'train their replacements, ' none of which is accurate", the Indian industry association said. The executive order will make reforms to raise the bar for foreign workers and will select only highly-skilled applicants.

Trump says the order will help American workers whose jobs are threatened by skilled immigrants, which is what he promised to do on the campaign trail.

Demand for the current H-1B visa program is so high, a lottery system is now implemented, something of which Trump aims to revamp through a merit system.

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Trump's executive order promises to properly police those provisions, but avoided detail about how that will happen.

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 USA products in federal contracts.

In the US, outsourcers often bring staffers into the country on work visas, train them in the tech departments of leading corporations and then rotate them back to India where pay and living costs are lower.

The United States grants 85,000 H-1B temporary visas to high-skilled foreigners every year - 65,000 hired from overseas and 20,000 from those enrolled in USA colleges.

The H-1B program is supposed to provide the flexibility for companies to hire highly skilled foreign employees who possess unique technical expertise.

"Highly-skilled immigrant labor, be it worldwide students, green card holders, or H-1B workers help local companies fill talent shortages, especially in hard-to-fill STEM positions and fields where there is full employment", Tobocman says in a statement. Nor are they required to offer the job to an American worker who is available and equally, or better, qualified. "We're going to do everything in our power to make sure more products are stamped with those wonderful words 'Made in the USA, '" Trump said.

In recent years, the government has held a computer lottery to award the non-immigrant visas.

An April 3 announcement by U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also detailed "multiple measures" to deter and detect H-1B visa fraud and abuse.

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