H-1B Visa
U.S. President Donald Trump kicked off his efforts Tuesday of proposed reforms to the nation’s H-1B visa program by signing and executive order.

WASHINGTON (Diya TV) — President Donald Trump has begun dialogues to retool the America’s H-1B skilled worker visa program, a White House official said Monday.

These time-limited work permits are typically reserved for the world’s best and brightest from the scientific, engineering and technology sectors. India consistently ranks among the highest recipients of the visas.

According to a report from the Times of India, Trump will sign a decree on Tuesday ordering the Departments of Labor, Justice and Homeland Security to propose reforms to the the H-1B program. Its “original intent (was) awarding visas to the most skilled and highest paid applicants – crucially, at such time as these reforms are eventually implemented, it will prevent the program from being used to displace American workers,” a White House official said, according to the report.

“For too long, rather than just allowing the best to come, the H-1B program has been applied in a bad way for U.S. workers,” the White House said. The executive order will aim to support stated Trump priorities of “buy American, hire American.”

U.S. immigration authorities earlier this month announced measures to combat the “fraud and abuse” of the H-1B program. Monday’s announcement comes on the heels of this year’s annual H-1B lottery, where 85,000 visas are rewarded to workers from across the globe. It is important to note that Trump cannot, by decree or executive order, change the figure of allocated visas in the program.

Trump signed the executive order Tuesday at a sprawling Snap-on tool factory in Kenosha, Wis., was a way to “restore the American dream” and a means to end the “theft of American prosperity,” which he said had been brought on by low-wage immigrant labor. Trump criticized the visa program, determined by a lottery, as an off-the-rails initiative that has driven down wages for American workers in the same fields.

H-1B visas “should include only the most skilled and highest-paid applicants and should never, ever be used to replace American workers,” he told a gathering of about 500 workers, which included White House chief of staff, Reince Priebus, a Kenosha native.

The White House hopes Trump’s efforts can build momentum for possible legislative reform.

“This is a transitional step to get towards a more skilled based and merit based version,” a White House official said. “There is a lot we can do administratively, and the rest will be done hopefully legislatively.”