Trump's Next Immigration Reform Targets Work-visa Programs

Posted: Jan 31 2017, 5:55am CST | by , in Latest Political News


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Trump's next immigration reform targets work-visa programs

Draft executive order could change how major tech firms operate

In the midst of protests going on around the US over President Trump's immigration ban on predominantly muslim countries, another immigration reform is on the table. Bloomberg reports that another executive order is in draft form that aims to reform the work-visa program. This executive order could significantly impact the way many technology companies operate today.

If the executive order was implemented technology companies could be required to shift the way they operate. Firms like Microsoft, Amazon, Apple, and others would be faced with significant changes to how they currently employ tens of thousands of workers.

"Our country’s immigration policies should be designed and implemented to serve, first and foremost, the U.S. national interest," the draft proposal reads, according to a copy reviewed by Bloomberg. "Visa programs for foreign workers … should be administered in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers -- our forgotten working people -- and the jobs they hold."

Foreign work visas were originally established to allow US companies to recruit workers from abroad if there weren't any qualified local workers. The problem with the work visa program now is that there are allegations companies use the program to bring in cheaper workers from foreign countries to fill positions that would otherwise go to Americans.

"Immigrant STEM workers have contributed an outsize share to founding new companies, getting patents, and helping build up American companies, which in turn because of their success have created tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of jobs," said Gary Burtless, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institution who does research in labor markets. "Discouraging such people to apply for visas to enter the United States to work -- I can’t imagine how that can be considered to be in the American national interest."

President Trump isn't alone in Washington working to reform immigration, Congress is also working on reforms. Democratic congresswoman for California Zoe Lofgren proposed a bill last week that would tighten H-1B work visa requirements.

"My legislation refocuses the H-1B program to its original intent – to seek out and find the best and brightest from around the world, and to supplement the U.S. workforce with talented, highly-paid, and highly-skilled workers," Lofgren said in a statement.

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<a href="/latest_stories/all/all/3" rel="author">Shane McGlaun</a>
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