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Trump signs executive order for overhaul of H-1B visa system


US President Donald Trump on Tuesday ordered federal agencies to look at tightening the H-1B visa programme used to bring high-skilled foreign workers to the US, as he tries to carry out his campaign pledges to put "America First".

President Trump spoke at the signing of the executive order at Kenosha, Wisconsin.

The new executive order also directed federal agencies to review current procurement requirements and step up the effort to limit government purchase to USA -made goods.

Trump and other critics of the program say it is abused by those Indian firms, who - they claim - flood the visa lottery with applications and then send workers to the USA on salaries that undercut their American counterparts. Senior administration officials say that the order will also strengthen rules that bar foreign contractors from bidding on federal government projects.

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A man emerged from the vehicle and opened fire on the van with an "automatic weapon", killing one officer instantly, Brandet said. US President Donald Trump on Thursday condemned the Paris terrorist attack, saying there is a need to stay strong and vigilant.

"The H-1B visa program is important to colleges both because many global students look to it as a route to permanent residency in the USA and because universities use H-1Bs to hire postdoctoral researchers and others from overseas", Inside Higher Ed noted.

H-1B visas "should include only the most skilled and highest-paid applicants and should never, ever be used to replace American workers", he told a gathering of about 500 workers and local luminaries, including the White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, a Kenosha native. The Secretary of Commerce will be tasked with streamlining the existing rules.

Melissa Repko, with the Dallas Morning News, says mainly tech companies and outsourcing firms - many of which are based in India - have a high percentage of workers with an H-1B visa. He vowed to end the H1-B program which, he said, allowed big business to fire Americans and replace them with foreigners.

"Wage levels? Set by Congress. H-1B lottery system?"

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"In particular, they say there's a shortage of science, technology, engineering and math talent in the USA - especially with higher degrees like Masters and PhD.s".

President Trump visited a toolmaking plant in Wisconsin today.

In the upcoming executive order, Trump is expected to have the Department of Homeland Security, the agency that issues the H-1B visa, to further review their conditions for awarding.

Snap-on makes hand and power tools, diagnostics software, information and management systems, and shop equipment for use in various industries, including agriculture, the military and aviation. These companies connect USA technology firms with thousands of foreign engineers and programmers. This means the visas should not be granted to foreign workers who are simply willing to work for less than US workers. The changes link with Trump's "Buy American, Hire American" stance, which won him the Presidency back in Janaury amongst a subsequent rise in populism.

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