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Trump signs executive order scrutinizing skilled immigrant visas

Trump signs executive order scrutinizing skilled immigrant visas

Trump criticized the visa program, determined by a lottery, as an off-the-rails initiative that has driven down wages for American workers in the same fields.

U.S. president Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday that directs federal agencies to review and change a temporary visa programme for high-skilled foreigners to ensure preference was accorded to the "most-skilled and highest-paid".

Snap-on Chairman and CEO Nick Pinchuk said Tuesday he was pleased with President Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" speech at the company's headquarters in Wisconsin. "This will stop", Trump was quoted as saying after he signed the executive order.

Trump said that his administration is going to enforce "Hire American" rules that are created to protect jobs and wages of workers in the United States.

Trump, during his presidential campaign, had called for a moratorium on H1-B visas, however, the executive order does not impose any such ban.

Two senior Trump administration officials who briefed reporters at the White House said Trump will also use the "buy American and hire American" order to seek changes in government procurement practices to increase the purchase of American products in federal contracts.

"We believe the American strength is rooted in the ability to make things and fix things", he explained. But those workers are hired using the H-2B visa for temporary non-agricultural workers.

US President Donald Trump has chosen not to push for legislative changes in the country's visa programme for technology workers.

"A really clever idea would be something like if you're going to get an H-1B visa, then you hire an apprentice in an equivalent job and use the funding that comes off the (H-1B training fee) in the retraining of those workers", Schutzler proposed.

"For too long, rather than operating as designed and allowing only the best and brightest to come in and fill key positions, the H-1B nonimmigrant visa program has been administered in a way that harms American workers", a White House official said.

H-1B visa programme allows companies in the USA to temporarily employ foreign workers in speciality occupations such as science and information technology.

Any amendments to the current practices of the H-1B visa program will also likely affect Facebook, which has more than 15 percent of its USA employees hired using a temporary work visa, according to Reuters.

This month USCIS received 199,000 H-1B visa petitions; as a result the federal agency had to resort to a computerised draw of lots to decide the fate of successful applicant.


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