Trump follows Turnbull's visa changes with 'buy American and hire American' order

On April 18, 2017, President Donald Trump signed an executive order (EO), "Buy American and Hire American", which aims to "stimulate economic growth" and "ensure the integrity of the immigration system". "It's America first, you better believe it. Does that make sense?" he said.

The latest executive order comes at a time when the businessman-turned-politician is nearing his 100th day in office, looking to regain momentum on the domestic front after his flagship travel ban was blocked in court and his vaunted health reform foundered in Congress.

Trump wants federal construction projects to use American-made products, but doesn't know how to make it happen yet.


His order, however, does not mention the H-2B visa, which allows United States employers to temporarily hire foreign, non-agricultural workers for seasonal employment. They would also be asked to offer changes so that H-1B visas are awarded to the 'most-skilled or highest-paid applicants'.

The senior official said the end result of how the system now works is that foreign workers are often brought in at less pay to replace American workers, "violating the principle of the program".

Going to a more merit-based H-1B system could attract more people with advanced science and technology skills, Mr Atkinson said in a statement.

Although H-1Bs are the main focus of the order, other guest worker programs could also come under scrutiny.

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India accounts for the highest pool of qualified IT professionals, whose services go a long way in making American companies globally competitive. After payment of an additional 1,225 USA dollars in charge, USCIS responds typically in 15 calendar days, whereas standard H-1B petitions may take anywhere between three to six months to receive a judgement.

The Trump administration has so far only called for a review of the H-1B program without proposing any concrete changes.

President Donald Trump signed a "Buy American" executive order in Wisconsin on Tuesday.

"This does nothing", said Senator Charles Schumer of NY, the Democratic leader.

Chandrasekhar said the executive order has two parts to it - first part of the order talks of compliance provisions, and a change in this could make it tough for companies to operate but not a cause of concern for Indian IT companies because they comply with the rules. It's not going to fix the problem.

Tech companies contend the programme is used to recruit top talent, but some of the H-1B visas are also used for outsourcing firms. Of particular note, processing of H-1B petitions under the annual quota (i.e., the H-1B cap) will proceed unaffected. Many of those proposals, as per industry body Nasscom, are discriminatory and are targeted towards Indian IT companies.

The governors of Wisconsin and NY sent Trump a letter Tuesday urging him to take action.

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