Trump order would target high skilled worker visa program

President Donald Trump gives the thumbs-up as he walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Tuesday

President Donald Trump gives the thumbs-up as he walks to board Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House in Washington Tuesday

At the headquarters of hand and power tool manufacturer Snap-on Inc., Trump signed an order aimed at curbing what his administration says are hiring abuses in a visa program used by USA technology companies.

"Right now, widespread abuse in our immigration system is allowing American workers of all backgrounds to be replaced by workers brought in from other countries", Trump said. The official said the lottery system that selects workers under the H-1B programme could be an evident target of reforms.

"We hope the goal of President Trump's executive order on the H-1B program is 'mend it, don't end it, ' said Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a think tank that is lobbying in favor of the visas, in a statement".

Reforming the program could help improve its effectiveness in attracting the worlds best and the brightest, it said.

The order directs US agencies to propose rules to prevent immigration fraud and abuse in the program. It urges these departments to propose reforms to ensure H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest paid applicant, reported Reuters. "We also welcome efforts to root out abuse, better enforce the existing rules, and increase the salary requirements", said ITIF president, Robert D Atkinson.

The review is also looking into whether waivers in free trade agreements are leading to unfair trade by allowing foreign companies to undercut United States firms in the global government procurement market.

"Our civil rights organizations condemn the Trump administration for trying to pit US workers against immigrant workers and creating economic and immigration policies premised on the false idea that a USA -born American worker's financial struggles are the result of immigrant worker's opportunities".

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Trump's visit to Wisconsin takes him to the congressional district of House Speaker Paul Ryan, who won't be joining the president because he's on a congressional trip visiting North Atlantic Treaty Organisation countries.

With his attempts to overhaul healthcare and tax law stalled in Congress, Trump has leaned heavily on executive orders to change policy. "It's one I asked then-candidate Trump about in June 2015 because of course, many Trump corporation products are not made in the U.S. Far from it". And his businesses have hired foreign workers, including at his Palm Beach club Mar-a-Lago.

"The question is: Are the Silicon Valley firms playing by the rules, or they are trying to undercut the specialized, American techie work force?" At one debate, he said: "It's very bad for our workers and it's unfair for our workers".

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), A leading USA science and tech policy thinktank, hoped that the goal of Trump's executive order on the H-1B program is "mend it, don't end it".

During his campaign, Trump said he supported high-skilled visas but later came out against them. "There is clearly some companies have entirely built their business models around the H-1B visa program which was not at all the intent".

"They need to be scaled up and ramped down based on the needs of the US economy in the supply of. the resources to fill some of the roles", Tillis said during a late-March committee hearing.