Trump order would target high-skilled worker visa program

President Donald Trump speaks at Snap On Tools Tuesday

"The Buy American portion of the order ushers in a new more muscular foreign policy, maximizing made-in-America content and minimizing waivers to Buy American laws", the official claimed.

The executive order will also tackle the waivers and exemptions agencies use to bypass procurement laws favouring American-made goods. In the "Buy American" section, reforms that are tacking with the immigration system will be pushed forward by administration especially the H-1B visa program, which then-candidate President of USA promised to "end forever" on the campaign trail. They seek a more merit-based way to give the visas to highly-skilled workers. Nearing completion of 100 days in office, President Trump can't boast of major legislative achievements but has to his credit, executive orders that seek regulatory changes to help the USA economy. "Under our outmoded immigration system, US employers are losing ground in the highly competitive global talent marketplace and a random lottery for H-1B visas does not help", said Lynn Shotwell, executive director of the Council for Global Immigration (CFGI). Generally, employers do not have to interview Americans before hiring foreigners for the US -based jobs. Wisconsin unexpectedly voted for the Republican a year ago, partly due to his promises to bring back industrial jobs.

The order he will sign on Tuesday will call for "the strict enforcement of all laws governing entry into the United States of labor from overseas for the stated objective of creating higher wages and higher employment rates for workers in the United States", one of the senior officials said.

Administration officials told reporters that the order will assess guest worker visa programs, including he H-1B program, set up strict enforcement of USA procurement preferences, and address trade treaty renegotiations.

Indian firms like TCS, Infosys and Wipro that are dependent on visas are now focusing on bringing on board more locals to comply with the norms.

Those departments would also be asked to offer changes so that H-1B visas are awarded to the "most-skilled or highest-paid applicants", anonymous officials told the Associated Press news agency.

During the campaign, Donald Trump promised to eliminate the H-1B visa program, though he flip-flopped on the issue many times. The administration utilizes a lottery to grant 65,000 visas each year and arbitrarily disseminates another 20,000 to graduate undergoing workers. Organizations say they use visas to recruit the best ability. The question wasn't whether Trump might take aim at the tech industry as president, but how and when.

Facebook, Microsoft Corp and Apple Inc were not immediately available for a comment outside normal business hours.

Under the new order, the H-1B visa would no longer serve as a cheap way for companies to replace U.S. workers, the official added. Critics also say the lottery system benefits outsourcing firms that flood the system with mass applications.

According to the Trump administration, the current random lottery H-1B system has violated the principles of the H-1B visa program by allowing employers to bring in lower-skilled workers at well below market rates to replace American workers.

Tens of thousands who apply for H-1B visas each year are hired by IT companies.

The review may wreck several of the many programs used to import a population of perhaps 1.8 million foreign temporary workers for a huge variety of U.S.

"The issue of training workers for skilled manufacturing jobs is a different aspect of a policy than, say, the H1-B visa, which obviously is for STEM occupations", he added.

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

President Donald Trump is expected to target a visa program cherished by tech companies for bringing in programmers and other specialized workers from other countries.

Trump during his campaign days has used H-1B abuse as a major rhetoric and has even called the victims on stage to highlight how skilled Americans are deprived of jobs due to the abuse of the visa system by the U.S. companies. The executive order directs federal agencies to probe government procurement practices.

The changes Trump is seeking will take some time to carry out, the administration officials said.

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