United States tech industry optimistic on H1B visa reforms

United States tech industry optimistic on H1B visa reforms

The president's latest executive order is another effort by the Trump administration to curb immigration to the U.S. While today's order doesn't change policy, it continues to lift up the misguided narrative that immigration hurts U.S. workers.

"We believe jobs must be offered to American workers first", Trump told the audience at the Snap-on Tools Headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin, where he signed the executive order. The additional scrutiny DHS has ordered will include "site visits" to determine whether "H-1B dependent employers are evading their obligation to make a good faith effort to recruit USA workers", the Trump administration says. "And it directs the federal government to fully enforce federal guidelines prioritizing the use of American firms and goods in federal projects".

In light of the executive order, employers are maintaining that they want to hire American talent, but they're not finding people with the skillsets they need. "Instead they should be given to the most skilled and highest paid applicants, and they should never, ever be used to replace Americans", Trump said.

As a member of this country's shrinking and besieged middle class, I'm angry most Americans are apathetic about visas, outsourcing and immigration abuse. 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.

Yes, H-1B visas are complicated, but they are still harmful ("Trump's not frightful immigration order", April 19).

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The administration's goal is to ensure such visas are given to the most qualified or highest-paid applicant, according to two senior officials. As per several U.S. reports, a majority of the H-1B visas every year is grabbed by Indian IT professionals.

Senator Chuck Grassley, an author of legislation to reform the H-1B and L-1 skilled work visa programs, said it is time to take action against the abuse of H-1B visa system.

Indian nationals are the largest group of recipients of the H-1B visas issued each year.

The Order also targets the abusive use of waivers and exceptions that undermine "Buy American" laws meant to promote taxpayer money going to American companies. Also, he has recently reversed several populist promises, including standing up to China, which he contended was manipulating its currency and stealing American jobs, and eliminating the Export-Import Bank, which he billed as wasteful subsidy. A close family member lost his job to a foreign worker because of this visa.

About 6% of the visas now go to the Labour Department's top skill level, while eight in 10 workers on the visa are paid less than the median wage for their fields, the White House said in a fact sheet distributed to reporters.

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