Trump takes aim at H-1B visa program

Washington D.C. [U.S.A.], Apr 19 : United States President Donald Trump has directed federal agencies to review a visa program used by companies to hire high-skilled foreign workers in the country.

Trump signed an executive order billed as 'Hire American, Buy American' on Tuesday afternoon at the headquarters of tool manufacturer Snap-on (SNA) in Kenosha, Wisconsin.

A preview of the order described to reporters on Monday explained the contours of the second half of that title - the government agencies would be encouraged to give priority to American companies when awarding contracts, with a review of waivers and exemptions that allowed the use of foreign-made products, as reported by the Washington Post.

While the White House has said the H-1B visa program undercuts American workers by bringing in large numbers of cheaper, foreign workers, driving down wages, the tech industry argued that the H-1B program was needed because it encouraged students to stay in the U.S.

after getting degrees in high-tech specialties. The new order will now seek to strengthen requirements that American-made products be used in certain federal construction projects and in various federal transportation grant-funded projects.

The order will also direct U.S. agencies to propose rules to prevent immigration fraud and abuse in the program. They would also be asked to offer changes so that H-1B visas are awarded to the 'most-skilled or highest-paid applicants.' Meanwhile, Trump's visit to Kenosha brought hundreds of protestors, who gathered outside of Snap-on to demand that he releases his tax returns and criticised some of his policies, including a plan to build a wall on the border with Mexico.

Source: ANI