Donald Trump signs executive order targeting H-1B visa programme

U.S. President Donald Trump has signed an executive order directing federal agencies to propose changes to the H-1B program.

Trump has also used his "buy American and hire American" premise to bring in changes in government procurement practices, reported The Guardian.

The president is to sign the directive at Snap-on Inc.in Kenosha, Wisconsin, a state he narrowly carried in November on the strength of support from white, working class voters. Trump now has only a 41 percent approval rating in the state. ".If you change that current system that awards visas randomly without regard for skill or wage to a skills-based awarding, it makes it extremely hard to use the visa to replace or undercut American workers because you're not bringing in workers at beneath the market wage".

The tech industry has argued that the H-1B program is needed because it encourages students to stay in the US after getting degrees in high-tech specialties - and they can't always find enough American workers with the skills they need.

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Trump has traveled to promote his agenda less than his recent predecessors. White House spokesman Sean Spicer said Trump wanted to visit "a company that builds American-made tools with American workers".

The order directs the departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security and State to take action against fraud and abuse in the immigration system to protect American workers.

The president on Tuesday ordered the review of the H-1B visa system, which critics say gets abused when companies to replace USA workers with lower-paid foreigners. "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 order asks for a review of waivers of these rules in free-trade agreements. "And some of that will be administrative, and some if they'll say will have to be done legislatively".

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.

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Tuesday's executive order stopped short of Trump's campaign call and made no specific recommendations on how to change the program. Immigrant workers of various skill sets provide necessary and vital contributions to the US, including as small business owners who create jobs in the USA economy, the statement said. His businesses have also hired foreign workers, including at his Palm Beach, Florida, club.

Reforming the H-1B visa system was one of the major election promises of Trump.

" "Buy American" is the Trump administration's highest priority when it comes to spending taxpayer dollars", one senior administration official said.

The Information Technology and Innovation Foundation (ITIF), A leading U.S. 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". 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. Trump is targeting information-technology outsourcing companies that use the visas to hire low-paid, less-skilled workers.

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Washington has even sent an aircraft carrier-led strike group to the western Pacific Ocean close to the Korean Peninsula. North Korea has warned the United States that it would attack if provoked.

Sen. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., a member of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, said H-1B visas should be given based on the economic need of the country at a particular time. Adding to the indignity: The U.S. workers are sometimes asked to train their replacements to qualify for severance packages.

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