Trump to order increased scrutiny of H-1B visa program

"With this action, we are sending a powerful signal to the world: We're going to defend our workers, protect our jobs, and finally put America first", Trump told hundreds of factory workers before signing the document.

Donald Trump announced a new executive order directing government agencies to "buy American and hire American", but immediately faced accusations of hypocrisy for failing to do so himself.

President Donald Trump signed an executive order entitled "Buy American, Hire American" that limits the number of highly skilled foreign workers that American companies can hire. Senior administration officials say that the order will also strengthen rules that bar foreign contractors from bidding on federal government projects.

The order addresses the Department of Labor, Department of Justice, Department of Homeland Security and State Department to "take prompt action to crack down on fraud and abuse" within the USA immigration system in order to "protect workers". Trump's order is to open a review of the H-1B system, and require companies to prove that they're hiring only the "most-skilled or highest-paid" applicants.

Hannity then turned to the issue of repealing Obamacare, to which Trump Jr. said his father will not let the law outright collapse because he cares about the American people and wants to fulfill his promises. Other visa programs, like the H-2B seasonal worker visa that Trump himself uses to staff his Mar-a-Lago resort in Palm Beach, Fla., will be largely unaffected.

Trump said the order would "aggressively promote and use American-made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job".

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Trump said reform of the H-1B visa scheme was long overdue. A famous case would be Walt Disney, who replaced a large number of United States technology workers with foreign workers who were willing to accept lower wages.

But he said some ideas could make the system ineffective, such as requiring advertisement of job openings for long periods to prove the unavailability of U.S. workers.

Current rules associated with America's trade deals and immigration policies unfairly place American companies and workers at a disadvantage.

The agencies also would propose changes so that the visas are only given to "most-skilled or highest-paid applicants", an administration official said.

On the planned order by Trump, Ronil Hira, a professor in public policy at Howard University and a critic of the H-1B program, said, "It's better than nothing".

"It would be a mistake to close the door on high-skilled workers from around the world who can contribute to American businesses' growth and expansion and make the USA more competitive around the world", the business lobby said in a statement.

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