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April 18, 2017

Donald Trump signs executive order to reform H-1B visas

According to Al Jazeera News!

US President Donald Trump has signed an executive order that seeks to make changes to a visa programme that brings in highly-skilled workers.
The time-limited H-1B visas for skilled workers, which are sought by technology giants, are meant for scientists, engineers and computer programmers. They are an important gateway for many attracted by tech hubs across the country.
But the White House said the programme is undercutting American workers by bringing in cheaper labour and that some tech companies are using it to hire large numbers of workers and drive down wages.
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.
"We are sending a powerful signal to the word we are going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first," Trump said just before signing the order on a visit to a local
manufacturing plant.
"Right now H-1B visas are awarded in a totally random lottery and that's wrong. Instead, they should be given to most skilled and highest paid applicants and they should never, ever be used to replace Americans."
Administration officials said that the order seeks to strengthen requirements that US-made products be used in certain federal construction projects, as well as in various federal transportation grant-funded projects.
The officials said the commerce secretary will review how to close loopholes in enforcing the existing rules and provide recommendations to the president.
The order specifically asks the secretary to review waivers of these rules that exist in free-trade agreements.

'Largely symbolic'

The Trump administration said that if the waivers are not benefiting the US they will be "renegotiated or revoked".
During his campaign, Trump said he supported high-skilled visas but later came out against them.
At one debate, he called for fully ending the programme, saying: "It's very bad for our workers and it's unfair for our workers. And we should end it".

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