Monday, 29 May, 2017

Trump takes aim at H-1B visa program

Getty Images Getty Images
Juana Turner | 21 April, 2017, 00:41

But Trump returned to Tuesday to the economic tough talk of his campaign, saying: "We're going to make some very big changes or we are going to get rid of NAFTA for once and for all", referring to the Clinton-era USA trade pact with Canada and Mexico.

India has a message for President Trump: Curbing visas for skilled workers won't solve America's problems. His remarks were filled with big talk, as expected whenever Trump opens his mouth, but as you'd also expect of anything coming from Trump, there are a whole lot of asterisks attached to the order. USA workers are sometimes asked to train their replacements to qualify for severance packages. Trump, taking a more dovish position, argued against sending skilled foreign workers back home after receiving education in the USA, saying "we have to keep our talented people in this country". The "Buy American, Hire American" executive order emphasizes enforcement of "Buy American laws" that will encourage government agencies and Americans to buy and hire American.

I can verify from the order itself, that is false.

Both Democratic and Republican critics have argued that companies such as Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) and Southern California Edison Co (SCE_pe.A), a utility, have used the program to terminate in-house IT employees and replace them with cheaper contractors. 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. "No longer are we going to allow foreign countries to cheat our producers and our workers out of federal contracts", he said.

He announced that the government is about to take "bold, new steps" to follow through on his pledge to "Buy American and Hire American".

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.

Here's visa expert attorney Ahmad Yakazan.

"It really honestly does not change anything", he said. "No one is saying something other than the president".

So will this executive worker help American workers and products? That could change down the line.

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