Trump executive order on H-1B visas reportedly in the works

After a weekend of protests condemning President Donald Trump’s order barring refugees from the country, it appears immigrant work visas may be Trump’s next target.

Bloomberg reports the president has drafted an executive order to overhaul the visa program that allows Silicon Valley tech companies to hire thousands of skilled workers from overseas.

The order would force companies to try to hire Americans first, and to give priority in foreign recruiting to the highest-paid workers, according to a draft copy reviewed by Bloomberg. Visas for foreign workers should be granted “in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers — our forgotten working people — and the jobs they hold,” the proposal reads.

The proposal comes as no surprise — some foreign Silicon Valley workers have feared an upset of the H-1B visa program.

But such a change could have a substantial impact on the region’s workforce. About two-thirds of computer and mathematical workers were born outside the U.S., according to the Silicon Valley Institute for Regional Studies. The Bay Area had about 27,000 H-1B visas approved in 2013, according to a Brookings Institution study.

Nevertheless, Trump is not alone in his concerns about the visa program. Two California lawmakers also want reform. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-San Diego, introduced a bill to raise the minimum salary covered by the visa from $60,000 to $100,000. And Rep. Zoe Lofgren, D-San Jose, last week was planning a bill that also would push for higher salaries, and require companies that rely heavily on the visas to prove they recruited U.S. workers as well.

Photo: President Donald Trump signs an executive order to withdraw the U.S. from the 12-nation Trans-Pacific Partnership trade pact agreed to under the Obama administration, Monday, Jan. 23, 2017, in the Oval Office of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

 

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  • VJ

    How exactly H1B visa is abused should be discussed.

  • Eye Duditzs

    As a laid off Tech worker in CA, I can tell you that they are using the H1B program to reduce labor costs all over the board. This administration needs to squash that right now and stop allowing US companies from replacing good experienced American citizens with cheap foreign workers that are have this entitled attitude especially from India; some of them arrogantly brag how much better they are at our jobs than we are…

  • Sheryl Anderson

    They’ll just do more offshoring to make up for it. It’s not going to help American tech workers at all.

  • Bara Bam

    Make America worst again. lol

  • Evilene

    Why didn’t he start with this one. There would have been a lot less negativity, because people would have looked at this as a true boon for American jobs. This one I actually agree with.

  • Mark Johnson

    Damn it, dey turk er jurbs!!!

  • Mike McDermid

    And not a peep from the left wingnuts about evil, filthy rich, CEO’s putting profits ahead of Americans when they hire cheap foreign labor.
    I suppose those evil, filthy rich, CEOs are given a pass by liberals as long as they vote Democrat.

  • Robert Masters

    LONG OVERDUE to rein in H1-B. As an American citizen with 15+ years tech exp. the job I interviewed for with GM in Arizona had an H1-B holder hiring manager who awared the job to another H1-B visa holder !

  • I think this will help U.S. Tech workers some, but if U.S. companies are unwilling to pay American wages, won’t they just switch to outsourcing to companies like ours (MyProgrammer)? I just don’t see how this translates to more job opportunities for Americans, unless these companies have to have onsite developers. I guess we will find out, but I imagine some will just outsource, and some will fill positions with Americans.

 
 
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