Trump orders visa and government purchase reforms


The president took to a Wisconsin-based manufacturer Tuesday to deliver a speech and draw attention to an executive order that reinforces existing law to make certain federal dollars give priority to American-made goods, reports CBS News chief White House correspondent Major Garrett. Indian nationals are the largest group of H-1B recipients annually. 65,000 visas are granted each year, with 20,000 other visas for graduates. Set by Congress. Changing the way visas are allocated...

Trump made it clear that he doesn't agree with fact that H-1Bs are now doled out under a lottery system.

Whilst the H-1B visa program is utilised predominately by the tech industry, STEM subjects and manual work, the program has come under significant criticism in recent years due to the ability for businesses to hire foreign workers at cheaper rates than USA workers, therefore lowering United States wages.

Now, what does Trump's BAHA order state?

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The executive orders were signed a day after the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced that it has completed the computerised lottery draw of 199,000 H1-B visa applications it received for the fiscal year 2018 beginning October 1 this year.

So will this executive worker help American workers and products?

Matt Cordio, founder of Startup Milwaukee and Skills Pipeline, said foreign worker visas aren't the only way to overcome that shortage. But an H-1B review is overdue. "It's not going to create a single job". Further, it seeks to enforce laws that bar skilled and non-skilled aliens from entering the U.S. unless they are certified to work under Section 212 (a)(5) of the Immigration and Nationality Act.

"We're going to switch away from a random lottery system in which it's weighted toward the lowest-wage workers towards a system that prioritizes higher-skilled, higher-paid workers, which would make it much more hard to use it to replace American workers", a senior administration official said Monday.

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Then, the order asks the Secretary of Commerce and trade representatives to evaluate free trade agreements, including NAFTA - of which Trump was critical during the 2016 Presidential campaign.

In addition to addressing the visas issue, Trump also ordered a review of government procurement rules favouring American companies to see if they are actually benefiting, especially the USA steel industry. There is no direct action to effect in this direction, but there is an invitation for reform proposals from U.S. agencies in view of the programme.

Technology leaders say they have been unable to get as many visas as they need because the system is flooded with immigration applications by outsourcing companies, who generally hire lower-skilled, lower-paid technical workers.

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