With Trump’s new “Buy American and Hire American” executive order comes concern across the nation from those who would potentially be affected by it. However, is there any real cause for concern from this latest executive order?
Trump’s “Buy American and Hire American” executive order is the administration’s latest efforts at attempting to reform the H-1B program, a program that allows high-skilled non-immigrants to come to America from other countries to work. This is a temporary work visa, with workers being able to file for renewal or extension to continue working in America. Fitting with Trump’s overall campaign and administrative theme of “America First”, this new executive order may sound scary to those that it would have the greatest impact on- high-skilled workers employed by US Companies across the country, especially in high-tech. However, what effects will this actually have on H-1B holders?
In actuality, this “Buy American and Hire American” proposal can be looked at as a microcosm of Trump’s entire presidency thus far- “full of sound and fury, signifying nothing”. Though it may sound like drastic measures from an administration that apparently lives by drastic measure, in reality, these proposals are modest and bring no real change on their own. Instead, most of what this executive order does is ask agencies for reports on what exactly could be changed and tweaked with our country’s current visa system. Meaningful changes to the H-1B Visa Program can only happen with Congressional approval.
The H-1B Visa Program has been under intense public scrutiny for a while now, most often for the wrong reasons. The need of the hour is that President Trump works, in conjunction with Congress, to ensure that the H-1B Visa Program is reformed so that it integrates into the modern economic landscape, as well as ensure that it allows US companies to hire skilled foreign workers, especially in STEM fields, where there is a documented shortage of US workers.