CFGI Quoted – “Trump Wants to Narrow H-1B Visa Program”

4/19/2017
SHRM


“To create more jobs for U.S. workers, President Donald Trump's latest executive order directs federal agencies to review and propose changes to the H-1B high-skilled guest worker visa program. To put those changes in place, though, requires action from Congress.

“Trump signed the ‘Buy American, Hire American’ order April 18 at the headquarters of Snap-on Tools, a manufacturer in Kenosha, Wis.

“While the order itself is scant on details, senior administration officials who briefed reporters said the president is asking the Homeland Security, Justice, Labor and State departments to crack down on employers who abuse the visa program and propose reforms to ensure visas are awarded to the most-skilled workers at the highest wage levels. The officials suggested that the administration would consider increasing fees for H-1B visas, proposing adjustments to the wage scale for ‘a more honest reflection of what the prevailing wages actually are in these fields,’ and doing away with the random lottery system used to allocate visas. They defined abuse of the program as ‘to bring in a worker not because you need their skills or talent, but for the purpose of undercutting the American worker.’

“…Nothing in the order is expected to affect this year's visa lottery, said Justin Storch, manager of agency liaison at the Council for Global Immigration, an affiliate of the Society for Human Resource Management. ‘Instead, it will ask for administrative solutions moving forward, and the administration acknowledges that some H-1B reforms will require legislative action.’

“…The Trump administration can't alter the number of visas awarded every year—only Congress can do that. But administration officials said they are looking to create a new structure for allocating those visas as a ‘transitional step.’

“Experts say that the administration can really do very little before running up against statutory limits.”

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