Tuesday, 26 September, 2017

President Trump Signs New Executive Order: "Buy American and Hire American"

Devin Neal | 20 April, 2017, 09:46

But it turns out that Snap-on Tools, where Trump signed his "Buy American, Hire American" executive order to much fanfare, pays below-average wages to the handful of foreign workers for whom the company has sought H-1B visas. Colleges fear that, as with his previous orders banning travel from some majority-Muslim nations, the president's latest move could deter foreign students from seeking to enroll on American campuses.

Read: Trump to sign "Buy American, Hire American" executive orders.

A senior Trump administration official argued on Monday that the H-1B visas are supposed to be awarded to highly qualified workers, but often bring in less skilled employees who earn lower wages than those they are meant to replace.

"With this action we are sending a powerful signal to the world that were going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first", he said at the Snap-On Inc headquarters in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

"The Justice Department will not tolerate employers misusing the H-1B visa process to discriminate against U.S. workers", said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Civil Rights Division.

Nasscom reiterated the point that persistent myths surrounding H-1B visas as cheap labour or displacing American workers as inaccurate.

OH gasoline prices decrease this week
The cheapest gas in our area right now is $2.04 at the Costco off Cloud Springs Road and the Sam's Club on Lee Highway. The national average has increased 11 cents during the past month and was 29 cents higher than one year ago.

The Secretary of State, Attorney General, Secretary of Labor, and Secretary of Homeland Security "shall propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of USA workers in the administration of our immigration system, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse". There are limits to reforms that can be implemented by an administrative order, and the executive order Trump signed after the speech only starts the reform process. The executive order directed various federal agencies to suggest reforms to "ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid" foreign workers. That program allows employers to go outside the USA workforce to find workers with "highly specialized knowledge".

The H-1B visa program has its place - helping companies around the country, but particularly in Silicon Valley, fill jobs for which the supply of American workers is thin. Instead, they should be given to the most skilled and highest-paid applicants, and they should never, ever be used to replace Americans. "We're going to do everything in our power to make sure more products are stamped with those wonderful words 'Made in the USA, '" Trump said. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services said it received 199,000 applications for the fiscal year that begins on October 1.

Up to 85,000 H-1B visas are issued annually by the USA authorities, but demand has far outstripped supply in recent years, according to local media reports. But the number of applications for the lottery, conducted earlier this month, declined from 236,000 previous year, possibly reflecting concern about new restrictions.

Voicing immediate reservations about the decree, the US Chamber of Commerce, however, warned the Trump administration not to do away with the whole H-1B scheme, also acknowledging that there was room for improving the program.

Officials from the Department of Justice warned in April that they will "not tolerate employers misusing the H-1B visa process to discriminate against US workers". Indian IT giants like TCS, Infosys and Wipro are among the major beneficiaries of H-1B visas.

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