Trump signs executive order targeting H-1B visa programme

US President Donald Trump Tuesday signed an executive order that calls for a review of the H-1B visa programme, saying they should never be used to replace American workers and must be given to the most skilled and highest paid applicants.

"We're going to protect our workers, defend our jobs and finally put America first", Trump told workers at Snap-on, a Kenosha, Wisconsin-based tool manufacturing plant.

President Trump on Tuesday signed an executive order that will make it harder for American tech companies to hire employees from foreign countries willing to work for less money than Americans.

The new executive order reinforces existing law to make sure the federal government gives priority to American-made goods and services. Trump will also instruct the Department of Homeland Security to ensure that H-1B visas are not used to undercut U.S. workers and wages.

To qualify for the visa, workers usually must have a bachelor's degree or higher.

The president himself has relied on guest workers with a different kind of visa - H-2B - to help staff his Mar-a-Lago resort, according to the Palm Beach Post.

"I am proud to stand with the President as he leads on prioritizing American workers and American products first".

As for the labor component of Trump's executive order, foreign visa programs require a level of labor predictability that construction companies rarely have, so that portion of the order should have limited impact on the industry in general.

The administration announced that it will suspend "premium processing", a process where USA employers will be expected to wait several months before the H-1B foreign workers can enter the country. The decrease in the applications reflects concerns that the Trump administration is set to take a very restrictive approach to the H1-B visa programme.

"This will stop", Trump said before signing the order in Wisconsin.

Matt Cordio, founder of Startup Milwaukee and Skills Pipeline, said foreign worker visas aren't the only way to overcome that shortage.

Trump said the order would "aggressively promote and use American-made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job".

While other groups in Washington agree replacing the H-1B lottery with a more merit-based system would be beneficial.

"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. Trump visited Kenosha toolmaker Snap-on Inc., which is in House Speaker Paul Ryan's district and is the hometown of White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus.

  • Leroy Wright