Donald Trump signs executive order targeting H-1B visa used by Indians

The technology industry relies heavily on the H-1B visa program to bring in engineering talent from overseas, and executives say they simply can not hire enough American workers to fill jobs at their companies.

"We are going to protect our jobs ... we are finally standing up for our workers", Trump said during his visit, which included him signing a "Buy American and Hire American" executive order. The main thrust of the order calls on cabinet secretaries to implement administrative changes and produce reports that identify potential abuses of the H-1B visa program, which awarded 85,000 work visas this year to foreign knowledge workers through a lottery system, and look for ways the government can only award contracts to American business owners.

The moves show Trump once again using his power to issue executive orders to try to fulfill promises he made in his election campaign.

H-1B visas are granted for three years at a time to foreign workers that have specialized knowledge in fields where there are a shortage of American workers, typically in science, information technology and engineering. It also proposes changes, such as awarding H-1B visas to guest workers with the best skills and highest potential wages, rather than through a random lottery as is done now.

Trump has said he would like to reform the USA immigration system, including the H1-B visas, but has so far focused most of his attention on cracking down on illegal immigration, with greater immigration enforcement and a proposed border wall with Mexico. "And "Hire American' generally refers to the body of law and policy concerning how our immigration, visa and guest worker programs are operated to ensure proper protections for American workers". As he nears the 100-day benchmark of his presidency, Trump has no major legislative achievements to tout but has used executive orders to seek regulatory changes to help the USA economy.

Whether President Trump plans to formally do away with the H-1B visa program as he repeatedly pledged to during his campaign for the presidency or whether he simply plans to make hostile overtures and idle threats to the program, the chilling effect is real.

Will the order change the H-1B visa programme?

The H-1B visa system has been criticised following high-profile examples of American workers being replaced by lower-paid foreigners through the program.

Mr Trump will direct the departments of State, Justice, Homeland Security and Labour to propose reforms to the scheme, which allows American employers to bring foreign workers to fill U.S. jobs.

And your second question: What about jobs for American workers - does this help them? "That is wrong. They should go to the most skilled applicants", Trump said. The Secretary of Commerce will be tasked with streamlining the existing rules.

An analysis released by AP on Tuesday showed computer science hires - who make up three-quarters of the H-1B recipients receive about 9% less, on average, than USA workers with similar positions.

Earlier, on Tuesday, Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull also announced a tighter visa policy for the businesses to bring workers in the country.



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