Trump set to sign 'buy American, hire American' order

Trump visa

Trump visa

Senior administration officials say that the order will also strengthen rules that bar foreign contractors from bidding on federal government projects.

Trump said the order, signed at the sprawling Snap- on tool factory in Kenosha, Wisconsin, was a way to "restore the American dream" and a means to end the "theft of American prosperity", which he said had been brought on by lowwage immigrant labor.

H-1B visas are intended for foreign nationals in occupations that generally require higher education, including science, engineering or computer programming.

"We are sending a powerful signal to the world: We're going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first", said Trump at Snap-On in Wisconsin Such a move would ensure businesses put U.S. workers first and reduce the abuse of the current visa program.

For now, Indian IT firms are trying to put on a fearless face publicly.

Critics say the lottery benefits outsourcing firms that flood the system with mass applications for visas for lower-paid information technology workers.

"A really clever idea would be something like if you're going to get an H-1B visa, then you hire an apprentice in an equivalent job and use the funding that comes off the (H-1B training fee) in the retraining of those workers", Schutzler proposed. But privately executives at most Indian IT firms will admit they are anxious.

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"Whether it's removing job-killing regulations, protecting our borders, or unleashing American energy, we are keeping our promises and delivering for the American Worker". Demand is usually higher than the cap, so the government holds an annual lottery.

But Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin acknowledged in the Financial Times earlier on Tuesday the reform would likely be delayed, calling the target of getting it through Congress before August "highly aggressive to not realistic at this point".

"Instead", he added, "they should be given to the most-skilled and highest-paid applicants, and they should never, ever be used to replace Americans".

The overhauls will depend on recommendations made to the president by the Departments of Labour, Justice, State and Homeland Security but it is anticipated that this could shift the system to a merit-based model.

Last year, Disney was accused of taking advantage of the H-1B visa scheme to lay off American technology workers, who were forced to train their foreign replacements.

The US sets an annual cap of 85,000 H-1B visas, which includes 20,000 for foreign workers with advanced degrees. This year, the government received almost 200,000 applications for the available spots in less than a week. The White House says the program undercuts American workers by bringing in large numbers of cheaper foreign workers, which drives down US wages. According to the Department of Labor Larger tech companies Like Amazon, Apple, Alphabet and Microsoft also depend on the program.