Trump To Sign Executive Order On H1B Visa Program
Washington(DC): US President Donald Trump will sign executive order on Tuesday in Kenosha, Wisconsin, directing the federal departments to come up with changes needed in the temporary visa program to achieve the policy of “Hire American, Buy American.”
A press brief was held on Monday at the White House to give reporters a background on the executive order that Trump is expected to sign the next day.
The order has an additional clause on the H1B visa program, and calls on four departments – justice, labor, Homeland Security and State – to put forward reforms to see to it that H1B visas are rewarded to the most skilled or highest-paid applicants.
Trump has talked a lot in his election campaigns about his agenda of “American First,” and how foreign workers are replacing Americans in their jobs. His administration has recently announced that it would take necessary steps to deter and stop abuses and fraud happening in the H1B visa program by properly enforcing existing laws.
The present order will ask the federal departments to review and recommend changes required to efficiently handle the program such that only skilled foreign workers are hired and at the same time asking departments to enforce laws to stop H1B visa abuses.
“Right now, as you may know, H1B visas are awarded by random lottery. And many people will be surprised to know that about 80 percent of H1B workers are paid less than the median wage in their fields,” said the senior administration official in the brief.
The official said that only about 5 to 6 percent, depending on the year, of H1B workers command the highest wage tier recognized by the department of Labor, there being four wage tiers. And the highest wage tier, for instance, in 2015, was only 5 percent of the H1B workers, he said.
The official criticized the past administrations for failing to recognize that the problems with unenforced Buy American laws and then the unenforced Hire American laws.
Trump has changed the political landscape, he said. The president wants to represent working-class citizens who felt underrepresented by the political system, the official said.