US President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Monday that bans technology workers on H-1B visas from replacing American citizens in federal government contracts.
The order will ensure that Federal agencies prioritise hiring American workers and not people on an H-1B visa.
“We believe jobs must be offered to American workers first,” Donald Trump said in a statement. –
The move came over a month after the Trump administration in 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 new restrictions took effect from June 24.
The H1B 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.
The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.
Trump’s decision to ban workers on H-1B visas comes after the federally-owned Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) said that it will outsource 20 percent of its technology jobs to companies based in foreign countries. Around 200 American workers were to lose their jobs over the next five years, said the order.
French technology major Capgemini, Accenture and CGI had won the contract from TVA, according to the employees union of TVA.
A Bloomberg analysis of Department of Labor data showed that in the first nine months of fiscal 2019, over 2,000 H-1B visa holders were employed by federal agencies.
Over the last few months, the Trump administration has taken several steps towards protecting American jobs by suspending the H-1B, L-1 and J-1 visas till the end of the year.
Donald Trump, who is facing elections for his second term in November, in June suspended H-1B and L-1 visas that were used by technology workers till December stating that it would help in providing local jobs amidst the economic crisis due to the coronavirus pandemic.