President Trump Targets Current H-1B Visa Program Claiming Discrimination against U.S. Workers

Craig's Headshot for CGC WebsiteOn April 18, 2017, President Trump issued an Executive Order on “Buy American and Hire American”.

The EO states that “it shall be the policy of the executive branch to buy American and hire American.”

“In order to create higher wages and employment rates for workers in the United States, and to protect their economic interests, it shall be the policy of the executive branch to rigorously enforce and administer the laws governing entry into the United States of workers from abroad ….”

The Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security are supposed to propose – as soon as practicable – new rules to revise previous laws “to protect the interests of United States workers” and to prevent fraud or abuse.

The heads of the various federal agencies shall suggest reforms to the H-1B visa program “to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.”

The Executive Order did not give any defined timeline to make suggestions.

According to the press release related to the EO, about 80 percent of H-1B workers receive the two lowest wage levels allowed. The problem, according to the Trump administration, is that “currently, companies routinely abuse the H-1B visa program by replacing American workers with lower paid foreign workers.”

The White House also brought in as an example the thousands of laid-off US tech workers replaced by foreign workers paid at lower wages. And perhaps most interestingly, a Senior Administration official suggested in an April 18th, 2017 press gaggle that increased H-1B standards might lead to a de facto elimination of the current “lottery” system.

 

Previous Government moves targeting discrimination of U.S. workers in favor of H-1B are available here.

The Presidential Executive Order on Buy American and Hire American is available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/18/presidential-executive-order-buy-american-and-hire-american

Related press release is available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/18/president-trump-promotes-buy-american-and-hire-american

Press release of background talk on Buy American, Hire American Executive Order is available at https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/18/gaggle-background-buy-american-hire-american-executive-order

 

For more information, contact Craig Dobson

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