Trump signs order that may discourage global student applicants

21 Avril, 2017, 16:26 | Author: Marc Bacque
  • President Donald Trump signed an executive order April 18th 2017directing federal agencies to implement the

"We hope the goal of President Trump's executive order on the H-1B programme is 'mend it, don't end it, '" said Robert Atkinson, president of the Information Technology and Innovation Foundation, a technology industry group.

The order purportedly calls for changing H-1B visas, which are popular among energy technology industries, making it harder for technology companies to recruit low-wage workers from foreign countries and undercut Americans looking for jobs.

The tech industry argues that the program is vital, especially since it encourages students to stay in the USA after getting degrees in high-tech specialties. If a foreign firm builds a road, is the spending really stimulating the US economy? In order to address these issues, Trump will order the Department of Homeland Security to review the process with which it awards these visas to foreign workers.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, 65,000 foreigners with bachelors' degrees, and an additional 20,000 foreigners holding advanced degrees, are granted the H-1B visas every year.

"And through this multiplier effect, the steel industry here in America supports more than a million jobs", a Senior Administration Official said in a press briefing.

The number of requests for H-1B visas declined this year by about 15 percent, or roughly 37,000 applications, but the total was still almost 200,000, far more than the 85,000 limit.

"It really is disconcerting", said Rogie Legaspi, who came to Baltimore from the Philippines in 2008 on an H-1B visa and now teaches life sciences at Hamilton Elementary/Middle School. These companies connect USA technology firms with thousands of foreign engineers and programmers.

"The order hinders the ability of American companies to attract talented employees, increases costs imposed on business, makes it more hard for American firms to compete in the worldwide marketplace and gives global enterprises a new, significant incentive to build operations - and hire new employees - outside the United States", it further adds.

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The Baltimore school system was also one of the state's largest H-1B employers, even though it now has only about a quarter of its original contingent of Filipinos, Legaspi said.

"It would be a mistake to close the door on high-skilled workers from around the world who can contribute to American businesses' growth and expansion and make the USA more competitive around the world", the business lobby said in a statement.

Canadians firms have been closely watching Mr. Trump's immigration agenda, with some USA industry analysts fearing restrictions on skilled worker visas may push technology workers north into Canada.

Among the state's top employers of H-1B workers are Harvard University, State Street Bank, Brigham and Women's Hospital, IBM and Deloitte Consulting.

"Immigrants play a huge role in the American economy, especially in the tech sector", said Matt Mincieli, Northeast region executive director for TechNet, which advocates for technology companies.

"Nearly half of the companies in our incubator were started by people who weren't born in the United States", she said. In addition to push-back on the policy, it would probably fall victim to a challenge at the World Trade Organization, she said. "And these are companies that already operate worldwide".

Here's a look at how Buy American provisions work, what the White House intends to do and what it all might mean for government contracts and the taxpayers who finance them.

He says he began to rethink his beliefs about the tech industry's reliance on hiring skilled workers from overseas after major tech firms, including Google and Facebook, began to poach his employees.


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