Donald Trump calls for tighter H-1B visa programme used by Indians


President Trump in Kenosha signed an order to tighten rules on technology companies bringing in highly skilled foreign workers.

"We will enforce the hire American rule".

Trump spoke Tuesday afternoon at a Snap-On factory in Kenosha, Wis., where he introduced his executive order.

The order is an attempt by Mr Trump to carry out his "America First" campaign pledges to reform United States immigration policies and encourage purchases of American products.

"The Hire American rules that govern many of our visa and guest worker policies have gone unenforced or have been abused to the point of rendered, in some cases, even inoperative", said a White House official during the briefing.

"With this order, I am directing every single agency in our government to strictly uphold our "Buy American" laws. and to maximize "Made in America" content in all federal projects", he said.

"We're going to make sure more products are stamped with those wonderful words "Made in the USA".

According to the Trump administration, the current random lottery H-1B system has violated the principles of the H-1B visa program by allowing employers to bring in lower-skilled workers at well below market rates to replace American workers. Some lawmakers, including members of the Congressional Black Caucus, contend that companies need to do a better job at recruiting and hiring skilled African-American workers. This visit will be Trump's first trip to Wisconsin since taking office. The H1-B visa program is meant to bring skilled workers in certain fields to the USA, but the administration contended that employers have abused the program to hire workers who will accept cheaper pay than Americans.

The tech industry has argued that the H-1B program is needed because it encourages students to stay in the USA after getting degrees in high-tech specialties " and they can't always find enough American workers with the skills they need.

Speaking at the headquarters of Wisconsin-based toolmaker Snap-on, Trump said that the order "declares that the policy of our government is to aggressively promote and use American-made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job".

Much like some prior orders, however, Trump's executive action Tuesday essentially looks for detailed reports rather than making decisive changes.

H-1B visas are intended for foreign nationals in "specialty" occupations that generally require higher education, which according to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) includes, but is not limited to, scientists, engineers or computer programmers. An agreement the United States struck with 42 other World Trade Organization members on access to government contracts may constrain how much the administration can prod other countries to open their procurement further.

Democrats said Trump's order was not strong enough, and too late, after thousands of visas were awarded this month in this year's lottery.

But it falls way short of Mr Trump's campaign pledge to end the H-1B visa programme.

Meanwhile, the irony of a tech-targeted order (whether toothsome or toothless) coming from a president who relies on foreign workers to in part staff his hotel operations was not lost on the commentariat.

Trump made it clear that he doesn't agree with fact that H-1Bs are now doled out under a lottery system.