The executive order signed by President Donald Trump calling for a review of H-1B visas is too little and too late, USA lawmakers said, even as more than half a dozen pieces of legislation on reforming the programme remain pending in the House of Representatives and the Senate.
President Donald Trump signed a "Buy American" executive order in Wisconsin on Tuesday.
Trump derided the "totally random" lottery system that used to allot H-1B visas to employers, saying it allows companies to undercut American workers by bringing in lower-paid replacements, which drives down wages.
As for the labor component of Trump's executive order, foreign visa programs require a level of labor predictability that construction companies rarely have, so that portion of the order should have limited impact on the industry in general.
Meanwhile, Trump's increased involvement in foreign policy interests in Syria and North Korea has shown that he is turning his back on the campaign promise to put "America First", according to London Capital Group's Jasper Lawler. "With this action, we are sending a powerful signal to the world". But an H-1B review is overdue.
The senior official said the end result of how the system now works is that foreign workers are often brought in at less pay to replace American workers, "violating the principle of the program".
Trump also wants to toughen up the requirement that American-made goods be used in certain federal construction projects or in highway projects that are paid for with federal grants.
"Buy American and hire American", Trump said at a rally in Des Moines.
Trump administration says that the H1-B visa programme, which was originally created to bring in highly-qualified foreign workers to do high-end jobs, has been subverted by companies, which are bringing entry-level workers in the United States to replace American workers.
Employers seeking H-1B visas for 2018 submitted 199,000 applications this year, far exceeding the 85,000 available visas, which are now distributed by lottery, according to figures released Monday by the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services.
Trump made it clear that he doesn't agree with fact that H-1Bs are now doled out under a lottery system. This year, 199,000 applications were received, CNN reported.