NEW YORK — President Trump is targeting a visa program cherished by tech companies for bringing in programmers and other specialized workers from other countries.
Although these visas, known as H-1B, aren’t supposed to displace American workers, critics say the program mostly benefits consulting firms that let tech companies save money by contracting out their jobs to foreign workers.
Trump signed an order Tuesday to direct the departments of Homeland Security, Justice, Labor and State to propose new rules to prevent immigration fraud and abuse. They would also be asked to offer changes so that H-1B visas are awarded to the “most-skilled or highest-paid applicants.”
The H-1B program is open to a broad range of occupations, including architects, professors and even fashion models. It’s meant for jobs requiring specialty skills that cannot be filled by a U.S. worker. Many of these jobs happen to be in tech. According to the Labor Department, the top three H-1B occupations are computer systems analysts, application software developers and computer programmers — and those three account for roughly half of the department’s H-1B certifications.
The tech industry says that firms have trouble filling positions with American workers and must turn to other countries through this program. – Associated Press