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Visa petitions for high-skilled foreign workers decline for first time in 3 years
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President Donald Trump will sign an executive order today, directing federal agencies to review the H-1B visa program for foreign high-skilled guest workers, according to news reports.
Trump will sign the order during a trip to Kenosha, Wis., where he will tour the headquarters of Snap-on Tools and deliver a speech about U.S. manufacturing.
Administration officials told reporters that the order will assess guest worker visa programs, including he H-1B program, set up strict enforcement of U.S. procurement preferences, and address trade treaty renegotiations. According to news reports, the executive order directs federal agencies to more strictly enforce H1-B visa laws and proposes reforms to the program to prevent fraud and abuse and ensure visas are awarded to the most-skilled applicants.
Advocates of the H-1B visa program argue that access to foreign talent is needed to fill the U.S. skills gap, but critics, including the Trump administration, say that the program needs to be reformed to quell abuses such as foreign outsourcing firms flooding the system with applicants and sometimes replacing U.S. jobs.
H-1B filing season began this year with U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announcing a "more targeted approach" in visiting the workplaces of H-1B petitioners.
"H-1B visas can be a vital tool for employers to access top global talent, drive innovation and spur economic growth, creating more jobs for U.S. workers," Shotwell said. "As the reform debate moves forward, we must advance a system that is innovative, fair and competitive for employers and employees. We should embrace solutions that reflect market demand and prioritize visas for employers who invest in U.S. workers."
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