Trump's H-1B Executive Order Highlights Wisconsin Tech Worker Shortage
Apr 20 2017 by Larry Hoffman
"I think you can make a strong case for expanding the H-1B visa program to allow more visas", Bauer said.
Trump, who was making his first visit to Wisconsin as president, also said he'll order federal agencies to look at tightening a temporary visa program used to bring high-skilled foreign workers to the U.S.
Donald Trump announced a new executive order directing government agencies to "buy American and hire American", but immediately faced accusations of hypocrisy for failing to do so himself.
The President said H1B visas should be given to the most-skilled and highest-paid applicants, and they should never be used to replace Americans. Specifically, they would look into whether waivers in free-trade agreements are leading to unfair trade by companies outside the USA and whether it undercuts American companies on a global playing field. The stated objective of this EO is to protect the American economy by having the US government and agencies focus on purchasing goods made in America, and to also protect American workers.
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This Executive Order calls to fully enforce the laws governing the entry of foreign workers into the United States economy, to promote rising wages and more employment.
First, of course, is the fact that Trump's own businesses don't come close to fulfilling his big "Buy American, Hire American" talk. But according to studies, 80 per cent of the approved applications were for the two lowest wage levels allowed. Reports state that the order will not affect other such guest worker visas like the H-2B seasonal worker visa used by U.S. farms and agriculturists and Trump's own resorts.
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 U.S. workers with similar positions. India's National Association of Software and Services even told the Times that the H-1B visa program only exists because the United States is constantly short on high-skilled IT talent.
Indian IT companies have been accused of misusing the H-1B visa regime, which they have consistently denied.
In yesterday's White House briefing, one of the unnamed agency executives called out three of these firms, saying, "The top recipients of the H-1B visa are companies like Tata, Infosys, Cognizant". Donald Trump, during his election campaign, had raised the issue of "bringing jobs back to Americans" and began working on modifying the H-1B visa programme since the early days of assuming leadership. The Associated Press reports that employers as diverse as Walt Disney World and the University of California at San Francisco have furloughed tech employees and replaced them with H-1B workers.