Trump takes aim at H-1B visa program
- Author: Salvatore Jensen Apr 20, 2017,
Apr 20, 2017, 20:23
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.
Trump carried Wisconsin in November by fewer than 23,000 votes - less than 1 percentage point - making him the first Republican to win the state since 1984.
Defending the H1-B system, many US technology firms said that they cannot find enough skilled American workers, arguing that scrapping the program could cause foreign students studying math and science in the United Sates to leave the country after finishing college or graduate school.
"If it turns out America is a net loser because of those free-trade agreement waivers, which apply to nearly 60 countries, these waivers may be promptly renegotiated or revoked", the second official said.
This Executive Order calls to fully enforce the laws governing the entry of foreign workers into the U.S. economy, to promote rising wages and more employment.
According to Reuters, Senator Dick Durbin-who worked with Grassley on H-1B reform-said: "For a president who has prided himself on his swift action when it comes to immigration, an interagency review of the programme is a guarded and timid approach".
The order also calls for more federal construction projects to use American-made products.
An analysis released by AP on Tuesday showed computer science hires - who make up three-quarters of the H-1B recipients receive about 9% less, on average, than United States workers with similar positions.
The order specifically asks the secretary to review waivers of these rules in free-trade agreements.
The United States grants 85,000 H-1B temporary visas to high-skilled foreigners every year - 65,000 hired from overseas and 20,000 from those enrolled in U.S. colleges. Under the current system, visas are awarded on a lottery basis, which critics say has led to exploitation by firms who use the program to hire lower paid employees.
Trump criticized the visa program, determined by a lottery, as an off-the-rails initiative that has driven down wages for American workers in the same fields. But critics of the program said it's a trick by companies to hire cheap, foreign workers instead of hiring Americans to do the job. The U.S. tech industry's need for skilled workers is only "accelerating because of intense competition", he told CNNMoney on Wednesday. The executive order focuses on the H-1B visa for people working in specialty occupations. Big technology companies have long supported efforts to change the H- 1B process - by increasing application fees or giving priority to applicants with advanced degrees.
"They are going against it because they want to protect their own interests, and that's scary", Trump Jr. said.