H-1B visa: Donald Trump signs 'buy American, hire American' order

20 April 2017, 09:18 | Isaac Mcdaniel

H-1B visa: Donald Trump signs 'buy American, hire American' order

Donald Trump Paul Ryan

Trump signed the order called "Buy American, Hire American" during his Tuesday visit at an American company in the state of Wisconsin. Not yet, since there is no direct action to that effect in the order, but there is an invitation for reform proposals from U.S. agencies in view of the programme.

The executive order also tightens rules that allow companies to hire skilled foreign labor, which the White House argues undercuts American workers.

The order addresses the Department of Labor, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and State Department to "take prompt action to crack down on fraud and abuse" within the US immigration system in order to "protect workers". Those departments would also be asked to offer changes so that H-1B visas are awarded to the "most-skilled or highest-paid applicants".

The order comes as part of the President Trump's campaign to put "America First".

"The buy-and-hire American order I'm about to sign will protect workers and students like you", Trump said.

Whether President Trump plans to formally do away with the H-1B visa program as he repeatedly pledged to during his campaign for the presidency or whether he simply plans to make hostile overtures and idle threats to the program, the chilling effect is real. "We are going to make big changes or get rid of NAFTA once and for all", Trump said.

Current rules associated with America's trade deals and immigration policies unfairly place American companies and workers at a disadvantage.

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Workers from outside the country, he says, are often hired at low-grade information technology jobs and are paid less than American workers.

According to a few USA reports, a larger part of the H-1B visas each year is gotten by Indian IT experts.

The order will call on those four federal departments to propose reforms to ensure H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest paid applicant. The additional scrutiny DHS has ordered will include "site visits" to determine whether "H-1B dependent employers are evading their obligation to make a good faith effort to recruit USA workers", the Trump administration says.

Trump said during a speech Tuesday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, that Canada has been "very unfair" to dairy farmers and "we're going to start working on that".

Hannity then discussed the executive order with Trump Jr., who said his father has done more in the White House than Bush and Obama did in their first two months.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, said H-1B visas should be given based on the economic need of the country at a particular time. "No one can compete with American workers when they're given a fair and level playing field, which has not happened for decades", Leading news agecny PTI quoted Trump as saying.



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