On Tuesday, April 18, 2017, President Trump signed another executive order related to immigration while visiting a tool manufacturing company in Wisconsin. This order is his first step to promote a “Buy American, Hire American” agenda which he initially announced during his campaign.
The order emphasizes enforcement of laws that would encourage government agencies and Americans to buy US products and hire US workers.
On the "Buy American" front, the executive order calls for stricter enforcement of laws requiring the federal government to buy products made in the US and utilize US-made steel and iron in projects which use federal funds.
The "Hire American" portion directs federal agencies to review the H-1B visa program and to more strictly enforce the visa laws set in place to prevent fraud and abuse. It also proposes reforms to the H-1B program to ensure that visas are awarded to foreign workers with the best skills and highest potential wages as opposed to issuing visas through a lottery system.
This does not affect this year's H-1B CAP and USCIS will proceed with processing H-1B cases that were selected in the lottery.
Please note that President Trump does not have the power or authority to change many aspects of the H-1B program without consent. The H-1B program is under the authority of Congress and therefore any proposed changes such as eliminating the lottery system and altering how the visas are allocated would require legislative action first.
We will continue to keep you updated as this progresses. Should you have any questions, please do not hesitate to reach out to us.