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Trump's visa executive order could have big impacts on Tennessee

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The president said he wants to prioritize American-made goods for federal contracts and tighten the rules around who gets H-1B visas, awarded to high-skilled foreign workers.

Trump is heading to Kenosha on Tuesday, where he plans to sign an order dubbed "Buy American, Hire American", said administration officials who spoke on the condition of anonymity despite the president's frequent criticism of the use of anonymous sources.

White House Deputy Press Secretary Sarah Sanders told reporters that the executive order "will make significant progress towards Buy American and Hire American, the cornerstone of Trump's vision for a government that answers to the American workers who built this country".

"The buy-and-hire American order I'm about to sign will protect workers and students like you", Trump said.

It will call on the departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State to take action to crack down on what the official called "fraud and abuse" in the USA immigration system to protect American workers. He called on the four departments to reform their systems to insure that H1B visas are given only to the "most skilled" or "highest-paid" applicants.

The Chamber of Commerce added that it would be a "mistake to close the door on high-skilled workers" who can contribute to the growth and expansion of American businesses and make the USA more competitive around the world.

"From a Snap-on point of view, we think the seminal issue of our time is the upskilling of the American work force", he said.

Higher education ranks third behind technology-related occupations as the largest industry sponsor of recipients of H-1B visas.

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Will the order change the H-1B visa programme?

The United States grants 85,000 H-1B temporary visas to high-skilled foreigners every year - 65,000 hired from overseas and 20,000 from those enrolled in U.S. colleges.

Chicago-based Envoy, previously called VisaNow, said yesterday's signing triggers a "top-to-bottom" performance review. "Some of them have gotten used to Trump's pattern of saying he's going to do things to help workers and then reneging on them".

"There should be protections in place to ensure they are not simply bringing in workers just because they will work for a cheaper price". Secretary of Commerce Wilbur Ross will review the agencies' findings and report back to the President within 220 days. It asks for a review of waiver use and seeks better enforcement of laws regarding buying American made products by the government and American iron and steel products backed by federal money.

"Right now, widespread abuse in our immigration system is allowing American workers of all backgrounds to be replaced by workers brought in from other countries", Trump said. 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.

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.

A majority of the H-1B visas are, however, awarded to outsourcing firms, sparking criticism by sceptics.

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