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Trump order targets foreign workers
20 April 2017, 06:58 | Laverne Osborne
Trump signed the order called "Buy American, Hire American" during his Tuesday visit at an American company in the state of Wisconsin.
Trump speaks before signing order directing federal agencies to recommend changes to a temporary visa program.
The Trump administration began to stoke fears regarding the program's future for technology workers earlier this month when Citizenship and Immigration Service issued a memorandum tightening H-1B rules for programmers.
The new order will now seek to strengthen requirements that American-made products be used in certain federal construction projects and in various federal transportation grant-funded projects.
The order addresses the Department of Labor, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and State Department to "take prompt action to crack down on fraud and abuse" within the USA immigration system in order to "protect workers".
H-1B visas "should include only the most skilled and highest-paid applicants and should never, ever be used to replace American workers", he told a gathering of about 500 workers and local luminaries, including the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, a Kenosha native.
While specific details on potential regulations surrounding hiring and buying procedures for American companies were not immediately addressed by Trump, he assured the crowd that changes would come for businesses who rely on other countries for employees and goods.
Whether you're for or against the new executive order, there isn't much that is likely to change in the short term.
H-1B visas, which are awarded on a lottery system, are capped at 85,000 nationwide.
Throughout his election campaign, Trump pushed the "Buy American, hire American" maxim and prefers to move towards a merit-based visa system, which only encourages the most-talented workers from overseas to come. The boss of India's largest IT company - Tata Consultancy Services - has said that the current discourse on the issue in the U.S. is driven by "emotions".
Likewise, investigations during the election found that numerous Trump's branded products were manufactured outside of the U.S. Trump signed his executive order in a room filled with hundreds of Snap-On's employees.
The administration announced that it will suspend "premium processing", a process where US employers will be expected to wait several months before the H-1B foreign workers can enter the country. As he nears the 100-day benchmark of his presidency, Trump has no major legislative achievements to tout but has used executive orders to seek regulatory changes to help the USA economy.
His order, however, does not mention the H-2B visa, which allows USA employers to temporarily hire foreign, non-agricultural workers for seasonal employment.
"We believe jobs must, should be offered to American workers first", Mr. Trump said in his speech.