H-1B applications drop as USA employers anticipate reforms

Union Finance Minister Arun Jaitley holds a bilateral meeting with the US Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross in Washington DC

President Donald Trump will be ordering a thorough review of the country's high-skilled immigration visa program Thursday after having signed an executive order Tuesday targeting the H-1B program.

Laws requiring the use of USA -sourced goods and services for government contracts would be bolstered by an executive order issued April 18 by President Donald Trump.

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

Trump went to Kenosha, Wisconsin, on Tuesday where he signed an order dubbed "Buy American, Hire American", ordering the Labour, Justice and Homeland Security Departments to propose reforms to the visa programme to prevent immigration fraud and abuse.

Many Silicon Valley tech companies support the H-1B visa program and will monitor the review the administration has proposed closely.

"The current campaign to discredit our sector is driven by persistent myths, such as the ideas that H-1B visa holders are "cheap labor" and "displace American workers" who 'train their replacements, ' none of which is accurate", the Indian industry association said. But those workers are hired using the H-2B visa for temporary non-agricultural workers.

The order tasked four department heads (including the Secretary of Labor, who has yet to be confirmed) to suggest reforms to ensure H-1B visas are given to the "most-skilled or highest paid" petitioners.

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Marina Whitman, professor at Michigan University, said where there is a genuine shortage of Americans to do the work, hiring foreign workers on H-1B visas add to overall efficiency in the US.

In light of the executive order, employers are maintaining that they want to hire American talent, but they're not finding people with the skillsets they need.

This Executive Order calls to fully enforce the laws governing the entry of foreign workers into the United States economy, to promote rising wages and more employment. "We are talking to clients about offshoring more work to India, and the work done by junior employees can be brought to India", the report said citing one executive at the company, as saying.

"Any such move will not benefit the American worker, which is the intention behind the move", he said, adding that "using salary levels as the metric is not necessarily the best indicator of benefits to the USA economy".

This is published unedited from the PTI feed. "Like all the other executive orders, it's just words - he's calling for new studies".

While many workers applaud the move, the president's critics are crying hypocrisy, calling out the president's use of immigrant workers at his properties and manufacturing Trump-branded goods in China.

"You know what, its about time", Hannity said. Most Indian IT companies get over 60 percent of their revenues from the North American market. "There's a skills shortage in the USA, and we have incredibly talented people being educated here; why send them home?"

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