President Donald Trump signed an executive order preventing federal agencies from contracting or subcontracting foreign workers
- India Vahini News News/A S DSilva
IT professionals eyeing the US job market, are in for a shock as President Donald Trump signed an executive order preventing federal agencies from contracting or subcontracting foreign workers -- mainly those on H-1B visa -- from hiring. The new restrictions took effect from June 24.
The H1B visa, most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
Trump told reporters that his administration will not tolerate firing of hardworking Americans in the pursuit of cheap foreign labour. 'As we speak, we're finalising the H-1B regulation so that no American workers be replaced ever again. H-1B should be used for top highly paid talent to create American jobs, not as inexpensive labour programmes and destroy American job,” said the president who was surrounded across the Cabinet Room table with individuals campaigning against job outsourcing.
The executive order requires all federal agencies to complete an internal audit and assess whether they are in compliance with the requirement that only US citizens and nationals are appointed to the competitive service. As a result, the Department of Labour will also finalise guidelines to prevent H-1B employers from moving H-1B workers to other employers' job sites to displace Americans workers.
Trump's order follows the federally-owned Tennessee Valley Authority's (TVA) announcement that it will outsource 20 per cent of its technology jobs to companies based in foreign countries. Given the current climate of rampant intellectual property theft, outsourcing IT jobs that involve sensitive information could pose a national security risk, it said.
One of the participants present during the signing of the order told the president that as many as 70 per cent of the H-1B visa goes to people from India.
“We are going to be discussing very shortly an immigration bill, which covers this and many other things. It will be a very, very comprehensive bill. It's a word that some people love, and some people hate. But it'd be very comprehensive only in the sense that it covered just about everything. It will be based on merit. It will cover territory that nobody would have thought could have ever been agreed to,” Trump said.
The bill, he said, will be signed after the convention.