Trump takes first step towards H-1B visa reform

Trump signed the "Buy America, Hire America" order on Tuesday night during a visit to a tool factory in the USA state of Wisconsin, reported CNN.

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.

President Trump signed the order during an event at the headquarters of Snap-on, a Kenosha, Wis. -based manufacturer of professional tools and equipment.

As for the H-1B visa program, Trump said visas are awarded in a random lottery.

Trump's order seeks to ensure the visas go only to the most skilled workers.

Current rules associated with America's trade deals and immigration policies unfairly place American companies and workers at a disadvantage. "It's America first, you better believe it".

The latest executive order comes at a time when the businessman-turned-politician is nearing his 100th day in office, looking to regain momentum on the domestic front after his flagship travel ban was blocked in court and his vaunted health reform foundered in Congress.




"And his two high-profile executive orders cracking down on immigration from predominantly Muslim nations have been stymied by the courts", the paper pointed out.

Murphy ramped up his own "buy American" campaign past year in response to reports that Pentagon contracting personnel did not consistently comply with the Berry Amendment or the Buy American Act, two federal laws that require federal agencies to give preference in purchasing to domestic goods and raw materials.

Technology executives, who have generally been critical of Trump's policies, were tentatively positive about the White House's efforts to change how work visas are doled out to foreign workers.

A senior Trump administration official argued on Monday that the H-1B visas are supposed to be awarded to highly qualified workers, but often bring in less skilled employees who earn lower wages than those they are meant to replace.

The H-1B visa programme allows numerous country's biggest tech firms and other multinationals to bring foreign workers to the United States, but federal bodies will now be instructed to crack down on abuse of the programme. The executive order focuses on the H-1B visa for people working in specialty occupations.

"The Justice Department will not tolerate employers misusing the H-1B visa process to discriminate against United States workers", said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Civil Rights Division. But the number of applications for the lottery, conducted earlier this month, declined from 236,000 past year, possibly reflecting concern about new restrictions.

(Copyright © 2015. All Rights Reserved.)
 
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