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President Trump's Executive Order - "Buy American and Hire American"

On April 18, 2017, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order (EO) entitled Buy American and Hire American.

To date, the section of the EO that pertains to “Hire American” has no direct effect on current immigration laws. Rather, it directs executive agencies to “protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse.”

The EO further calls for the agency officials to “suggest reforms to help ensure that H1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.” This includes a series of small measures, like a multiagency report on changes needed for the H-1B program, under which the government admits 85,000 foreign workers annually, many of them in the high-tech, industrial, medical and science fields.

“This does nothing,” said Senator Charles Schumer of New York. “Like all the other executive orders, it’s just words — he’s [President Trump] calling for new studies. It’s not going to fix the problem. It’s not going to create a single job.”
Representative Zoe Lofgren, whose district includes Silicon Valley, stated, “Half of the start-ups in Silicon Valley were created by highly skilled people from other countries. I don’t think the president and his staff fully appreciates that fact.”

For now, this EO does not change the immediate day-to-day working of the H-1B system, which many companies in the US support. It only opens a formal review of the H1-B program. The president plans to tout the initiative during a visit to Wisconsin tomorrow.

You can read the full text of this EO here: https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-office/2017/04/18/presidential-executive-order-buy-american-and-hire-american/

We will keep you posted of further developments concerning the H1-B program under the Trump administration.

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