Trump targets visas program for highly skilled workers


According to Politico, the order will require government agencies to "re-examine all programs that govern the entry of foreign labor into the United States", order the Departments of Justice, Labor, State, and Homeland Security to clamp down on "fraud and abuse" within the immigration system, and, per the AP, grant H1-B work visas to only the "most-skilled or highest-paid applicants".

Trump's aides say he will sign an executive order during a visit to the Snap-On tool-manufacturing plant in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he plans to sign an order dubbed "Buy American, Hire American", said administration officials who spoke on conditions of anonymity.

"With this action, we are sending a powerful signal to the world - we are going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first", Trump said.

President-elect Donald Trump held up Green Bay Packers jersey, December 13, given to him by House Speaker Paul Ryan at a rally in West Allis, Wis. Trump headed to Ryan's congressional district in Wisconsin today amid low approval ratings and in the wake of his failure to fulfill a campaign promise to repeal and replace the federal health care law.

President Trump heads to Wisconsin this afternoon to pay a visit to a tool factory and the blue collar workers who helped win him the election.

Trump narrowly carried Wisconsin in November.

Trump said at one point during the presidential campaign that he supported high-skilled visas, and then said he opposed the program.

Noting that right now the H-1B visas were awarded by random lottery, the official said 80 % of H-1B workers were paid less than the median wage in their fields. According to the Labor Department, the top three H-1B occupations are computer systems analysts, application software developers and computer programmers - and those three account for roughly half of the department's H-1B certifications.

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To meet the goal of hiring more US citizens, the decree orders a study of fraud and abuse of the H-1B visa program. The tech industry has argued that the H-1B program is needed because it encourages students to stay in the USA after getting degrees in high-tech specialties - and because companies can't always find enough American workers with the skills they need. Adding to the indignity: The U.S. workers are sometimes asked to train their replacements to qualify for severance packages. The government uses a lottery to award 65,000 visas yearly and randomly distributes another 20,000 to graduate student workers.

In related news, the Washington Post attempted to call out Trump for targeting "non-criminal" illegal aliens with a story headlined, "ICE immigration arrests of noncriminals double under Trump". Numerous overseas workers are willing to work for as little as $60,000 annually, far less than $100,000-plus salaries typically paid to US technology workers. "It's too little, too late", said U.S. Senator Dick Durbin, the No.2 Democrat in the Senate.

They're widely used in Silicon Valley, whose largest employers include outsourcing firms like Tata, Infosys, and Cognizant. Critics say the lottery benefits outsourcing firms that flood the system with mass applications.

"No longer are we going to allow foreign countries to cheat our producers and our workers out of federal contracts", he said.

The visas are created to help a variety of USA companies fill their workforces, but critics contend that they are often used as an excuse to hire cheap foreign laborers.

NASSCOM, the Indian IT service industry's main lobby group, said it supports efforts to root out any abuses occurring in the H-1B system, but said the idea that H-1B visa holders are cheap labor is inaccurate and a campaign to discredit the sector.

It warned last week that onerous changes to USA visa rules could affect its earnings.