By Lalit K Jha
IN ANOTHER huge blow to Indian IT professionals eyeing the US job market, President Donald Trump has signed an executive order asking federal agencies to hire Americans and preventing them from contracting or subcontracting foreign workers, mainly those with H-1B visas.
The move came over a month after the Trump administration on June 23 suspended the H-1B visas along with other types of foreign work visas until the end of 2020 to protect American workers in a crucial election year.
The H-1B visa, most sought-after among Indian IT professionals, is a non-immigrant visa that allows US companies to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise. Technology firms depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
“Today I am signing an executive order to ensure that the Federal Government lives by a very simple rule, hire American,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House on Monday before signing the order against hiring H-1B visa holders for federal contracts. Trump told reporters that his administration will not tolerate firing of hardworking Americans in the pursuit of cheap foreign labour.
“As we speak, we’re finalising the H-1B regulation so that no American workers are replaced ever again. H-1B should be used for top highly paid talent to create American jobs, not as inexpensive labour programmes and destroy American jobs,” said Trump, who was surrounded across the Cabinet Room table with individuals campaigning against job outsourcing.