Donald Trump signs executive order targeting H-1B visa used by Indians

According to the executive order, the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labour, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.

Trump and other critics of the program say it is abused by those Indian firms, who - they claim - flood the visa lottery with applications and then send workers to the USA on salaries that undercut their American counterparts.

"In recent years, some employers have used the H-1B program to hire foreign workers despite American workers being qualified and available for work or even to replace American workers", the department said in a press release. Nothing is being proposed that would impact or change the FY18 H-1B lottery that is now underway.

Several American companies use the H-1B program to hire skilled labor from overseas. The president called the order "bold new steps" toward making good on his campaign promises to generate more jobs for out-of-work Americans. Mr Pai sees Trump's executive order coming into force from next year. "But [the order] calls for stepped-up enforcement and that could mean things like doing more random visits of employers, or audits of employers who have a high percentage of H-1B visa holders". Large outsourcing companies, such as Wipro Technologies, IBM and Cognizant all utilise the H-1B visa scheme to employ highly-skilled workers.

The tech industry has argued that the H-1B programme is needed because it encourages students to stay in the U.S. after getting degrees in high-tech specialties, and that they can not always find enough American workers with the skills they need.

"Any such move will not benefit the American worker, which is the intention behind the move", he said, adding that "using salary levels as the metric is not necessarily the best indicator of benefits to the United States economy". More than 15 percent of Facebook Inc's (FB.O) U.S. employees in 2016 used a temporary work visa, according to a Reuters analysis of U.S. Labor Department filings. "No one can compete with American workers when they're given a fair and level playing field, which has not happened for decades", Leading news agecny PTI quoted Trump as saying. Any onerous additional restrictions on the H-1B and L-1 visa systems would hurt thousands of USA businesses and their efforts to be more competitive by hindering access to needed talent.

Trump's order also empowers federal agencies to reexamine loopholes in the government's procurement process.

He vowed to end the H1-B program which, he said, allowed big business to fire Americans and replace them with foreigners.

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