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New Trump Order Extends 'Buy American' And 'Hire American' Rules

21 April 2017

Trump signed the "Buy American, Hire American" order during his visit to the Snap-on Tools headquarters in Kenosha, Wis.

The president on Tuesday signed a "Buy American, Hire American" executive order that is meant to protect American workers by enforcing immigration laws and cutting out unfair trade practices, which Hannity touted on his show.

"We're going to defend our workers, protect our jobs and finally put America first", the USA president said. The biggest target is the H-1B visa program, which is created to help technology firms fill jobs requiring special skills but which critics say often is used to replace American workers with lower-paid foreign competitors.

For too long, he said, companies have used and abused the H-1B program to fire Americans and replace them with lower-cost foreign employees.

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Reforming the H-1B visa system was one of the major election promises of Trump.

H-1B visas are intended for foreign nationals in occupations that generally require higher education, including science, engineering or computer programming.

"A really clever idea would be something like if you're going to get an H-1B visa, then you hire an apprentice in an equivalent job and use the funding that comes off the (H-1B training fee) in the retraining of those workers", Schutzler proposed.

The United States admits 85,000 people into the country each year on H-1B visas, 20,000 of whom are graduate student workers. "No one can compete with American workers when they're given a fair and level playing field, which has not happened for decades", Leading news agecny PTI quoted Trump as saying.

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On the planned order by Trump, Ronil Hira, a professor in public policy at Howard University and a critic of the H-1B program, said, "It's better than nothing".

Betsy Lawrence, the director of government relations for the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told CNN that, "Although released with ceremonial flair, the order will have no immediate impact on H-1Bs".

At a press briefing yesterday, representatives of the Departments of Labor, Justice, Homeland Security, and State spoke to reporters about the executive order, on background (meaning we don't know the names of the representatives who spoke). He vowed to end the H1-B program which, he said, allowed big business to fire Americans and replace them with foreigners.

But Trump has been accused of hypocrisy because his properties have hired temporary foreign workers while many of his own branded products are made overseas.

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And of the three outsourcing firms called out above, a senior government official said, "Those three companies are companies that have an average wage for H-1B visas between $60,000 and $65,000". The exact nature of the order isn't yet clear, and its legality could of course be contested by the judiciary, but it calls for a "review" of the H-1B visa program "with the goal of reforming the program".