Trump signs executive order to curb high skilled visa programme and 'hire American'

James Tennent
Donald Trump in Kenosha

US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday (18 April) aimed at curbing US visas for high skilled foreign nationals

The executive order is purportedly based around Trump's promise to 'Buy American, Hire American' and directs several federal agencies to take action against "fraud and abuse" of the immigration system.

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Signed while while on a visit to Snap-on Inc, a tool maker in Kenosha, Wisconsin, the directive specifically seeks to curb the H-1B visa programme, favoured by America's tech companies, which allows highly skilled foreign nationals to work in select fields in the US.

It requires the Department of Labor, the Department of Homeland Security and the State Department to suggest changes made to ensure only the "most-skilled or highest-paid applicants," are admitted.

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The White House says that the visa brings in cheaper foreign labour and undercut American workers.

Earlier on Tuesday, Senate Democratic Leader, Chuck Schumer, called out Trump for not matching action with rhetoric, noting on a call with reporters that the planned Keystone XL Pipeline will not be made with American steel, despite Trump's claims.

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In a statement later in the day, Schumer said: "President Trump's empty executive orders and policies put profits over people, and wealthy CEOs over workers."

It has been noted, however, that the order does not target H-2B visa used by Trump's Mar-a-Lago resort.

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