PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — As part of his ‘Buy American, Hire American’ push, President Trump is ordering an overhaul of H-1B visas.
In a speech Tuesday in Wisconsin, Mr Trump argued some companies are gaming the system by hiring lower-paid foreigners at the expense of jobs at home.
“No one can compete with American workers when they’re given level playing field,” he said. “Which has not happened for decades.”
Any major reforms to the program that brings in highly-skilled workers from overseas will require Congress to weigh in, and it looks like the technology industry is angling for a say in the new-look policy.
Tech companies are among the top sponsors for H-1B applicants says Micheal Hayes with the Consumer Technology Association.
“To hire top talent when they truly need it — when they need someone with a niche skillset, and they’re not able to find a person here in the country to fill that job,” he said.
But Hayes notes abuse.
“When it is used to outsource American jobs, that’s inappropriate,” he said. “It’s got to end.”
He suggests a merit-based system replace the current lottery.
“It’s a matter of working with Congress to figure out how that system should be executed to both maximize economic impact and make sure that companies are able to recruit the talent that they do need,” said Hayes.
He calls ‘ignorant’ any policy that would push skilled workers out of the country once our universities educate them, as they then work for competitors to US companies.
The CTA has called for raising the current yearly cap of 85,000 visas, arguing that costs American jobs.