President Trump is set to crack down on H1-B visa abuse in his “hire American” executive order to be signed later today.
From Zerohedge: President Trump will sign an executive order on Tuesday that aims to overhaul the H1-B visa program used by tech companies to bring high-skilled workers to the U.S., directing a government-wide review aimed at putting new teeth back into decades-old “Buy American” and “Hire American” directives.
As The Hill reports, Trump will travel to a manufacturing plant in Kenosha, Wis., to sign the order, which the administration says will make it more difficult for U.S. companies to look overseas for workers to fill middle-income jobs.
At a background briefing with reporters, senior administration officials described the current H1-B visa program as a lottery system that indiscriminately hands out work visas to contracting firms that recruit low-skilled, low-wage workers to replace working-class domestic laborers.
They say a new system is needed to ensure that the program returns to its original purpose of bringing in high-skilled, high-paid workers to fill more specialized or technical roles.
As we’ve pointed out before, large Indian consulting firms are by far the largest users of the H-1B visa program. That said, most of the jobs created by those companies tend to have lower salaries than those created by the likes of Microsoft, Google and Facebook.
Tech industry insiders expect Trump will direct DHS, which runs the H-1B visa lottery system, to start a rule-making to re-prioritize the visa allocation to give preference to higher-paying firms. This pits tech firms against the Indian IT-staffing firms.
In theory, prioritizing by salaries means visas for more senior, higher-paying jobs will be granted first, and visas for lower-paying jobs (such as those being filled by Indian IT services firms) would fall to the back of line, perhaps not getting allocated at all if demand for the high-wage job visas is strong.
California House members Darrell Issa, a Republican, and Zoe Lofgren, a Democrat, are pushing bills that would raise salary requirements for H-1B visa holders. Tech companies generally support those efforts to de-prioritize Indian outsourcers that they claim “clog up” the oversubscribed lottery system with bulk applications.