BY: DANIEL PETERSON
It started with a Monday’s off camera response: “But I think during his campaign President Donald Trump addressed this at length. I am frankly surprised that you did not brief yourself before coming here. I do not know if you are asking because you don’t know or if you are pretending that you don’t know.”—when a reporter asked a top official in Trump’s administration, about Trump’s own act of hiring temporary foreign guest workers at [his] Mar-a-Lago estate located in Florida and several other Trump properties.
“The ‘buy and hire American order’ I am about to sign, will protect the workers and students like you,”—Tuesday, when Trump was addressing a crowd of manufacturing employees and technical students at the headquarters of Snap-On Tools—a Wisconsin-based manufacturer.
But there is more than that: H-1B visas admit 20,000 graduate student workers and another 65,000 workers each year.
H-1B visas are meant for foreign nationals in specialty occupations which generally require higher education, and which according to the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS)—includes but is not limited to: computer programmers, scientists, or engineers. The government uses a lottery procedure to award these visas.
According to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), the number of applicants for H-1B visas dropped to 199,000 this year compared to 236,000 in 2016.
Companies claim that they use visas while recruiting the top talents. And in 2016, More than 15% of Facebook’s U.S. employees used a temporary work visa, as per a Reuter’s analysis of America’s Labor Department filings.
But a majority of these visas are awarded to the outsourcing firms, inducing criticism by agnostics who argue that these firms use those visas to fill the lower-level information technology jobs. The Critics also say the lottery system only benefits outsourcing companies which flood the system with the massive applications.
The senior official said that the result of how this system has been working is that foreign workers were often brought in at a lesser pay to replace American workers, thus violating the principle of the program.
The order also calls upon federal agencies to figure out at how to eliminate the loopholes in government procurement processes.
Specifically, the review takes into account whether waivers in free-trade agreements are resulting in unfair trade—by allowing foreign companies to overpower American companies in the world government procurement market.
“If it turns out that U.S is a net loser due to those free-trade agreement waivers that apply to about 60 countries, those waivers may be quickly renegotiated or revoked,” said the second official.
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