Trump orders review of visa program for highly skilled workers


President Donald Trump Tuesday signed the "Buy American And Hire American" Executive Order that mandates a full review of the H-1B visa program for high-skilled foreign workers and the government's procurement rules to ensure they give preference to US-made products.

Trump signed the order during his visit to the Snap-on Tools headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

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

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As a candidate, Trump often assailed the H-1B visa program, under which the government admits 85,000 immigrants each year.

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Trump said his administration is going to enforce "Hire American" rules that are created to protect jobs and wages of workers in the United States. "I'm grateful that President Trump has taken my suggestions to heart by taking steps today to protect American workers and preserve limited H-1B visas for truly qualified, high-skilled foreign workers".

The order doesn't seem to change the status of existing visa waiver rules in the United States and instead orders departments to review and identify potential "abuses" of the visa waiver system.

In the whole immigration debate, H-1B visa issue is very small, he said.

Melissa Repko, with the Dallas Morning News, says mainly tech companies and outsourcing firms - many of which are based in India - have a high percentage of workers with an H-1B visa. "So they've said before and they said again after [Tuesday's] executive order that they're doubling-down on training and they're trying to find American talent, but not having enough luck". Critics of the program claim staffing companies are undercutting American wages by using the visas to recruit foreign labor and then contracting those workers to large companies.

Who employs H-1B visa holders?

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The order will also direct US agencies to propose rules to prevent immigration fraud and abuse in the program.

"As the process goes forward we believe that a more thoughtful and a more logical approach is desirable, keeping in view the impact on American businesses", Chandrashekhar said.

The move is a deterrent to Indian IT firms which send software engineers to the USA on H-1B visas.

Trump made it clear that he doesn't agree with fact that H-1Bs are now doled out under a lottery system. Turning away highly skilled workers would reverse such appeal.

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