by Lenn Almadin-Thornhill, ABS-CBN News
“I’m proud to announce we are about to take bold step to follow through, buy American and hire American.”
President Donald Trump signed an executive order on Tuesday that he says should help American workers, whose jobs are threatened by skilled immigrants.
This new directive targets the H-1B visa program.
Jordan Goodman, a financial expert in Elmsford, New York and author of 13 best-selling books, explains some of the possible changes, including the lottery system.
“Currently there’s about 85,000 H-1B visas given out every year, over 200,000 applications, so it’s a very unfair system. It’s completely random on who gets the job and who doesn’t get the job,” Goodman says. “Probably make that less random. What they want they want to do is to get the H-1 visa to highly paid, most experienced most skilled workers.”
“A lot of the H-1B visa recently had been going to lower-skilled, but cheaper workers that are displacing Americans. That’s what Trump really doesn’t want to happen. So I think that’s where the big change is going to be,” he added.
Small business owner Elizabeth Bulosan shared her concerns.
“Well, it’s gonna be tougher. It’s gonna be tougher for us small business owners. Cause if they will require that, hiring for H-1B workers, it’s gonna be very difficult,” said Bulosan. “With this additional requirement, it’s gonna be tougher.”
Trump says cabinet officials and heads of departments including Homeland Security, justice, labor, and state have been asked to suggest changes to the program, either by new regulation, or asking Congress to pass a bill.
“What Trump really doesn’t like, and I think it is very unpopular-America, is when foreigners from the Philippines, or India, or wherever it may be, come in and do the same jobs the Americans are doing and the Americans are forced to train them to pay a lower wage,” Goodman said. “That really gets people very upset.”
But Jed Marie Dominguez who recently moved to Jersey City from Paco, Manila, is not too worried about finding a job.
“I believe that there’s a great need for man power in the health care industry here in America,” she says.
According to the US Citizenship and Immigration Services, the number of applications for H-1B visa fell to 199,000 this year, from 236,000 in 2016. It’s a lot more than the 85,000 limit.
While this new executive order does not change any of the existing laws, it does not lessen the worry of those who will be affected.