Trump Administration Delivers on H-1B Visa Overhaul, Affecting Tech Companies Hiring Foreign Talent

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Apple and other technology companies in Silicon Valley will now find it more difficult to bring foreign workers into the U.S. through the H-1B work visa program, thanks to the Trump administration's follow-through of one immigration-related "America first" promise. In January, the administration drafted an executive order outlining an overhaul of various work visa programs, including H-1B, that tech companies use to hire integral employees from outside the U.S.

The original draft proposal stated that tech companies relying on foreign hiring did not serve "the U.S. national interest," and now the Trump administration has rolled out a collection of policy shifts to begin pivoting the program to better serve American workers (via Bloomberg). The changes began last Friday when the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services agency "made it harder" for tech companies to bring foreign workers to the U.S. using the H-1B work visa.


This week, both the USCIS and the Justice Department issued memos outlining a rallying of support for the new administration's focus on American workers who have the same skills as foreign workers. Allegations against the H-1B work visa program point towards tech companies abusing the cheaper cost of foreign workers as a money saving measure, which the USCIS has repeatedly referred to as "fraud and abuse" in its new memo.

The Justice Department has warned employers "not to discriminate against U.S. workers," and is readying investigative plans that will "vigorously prosecute" any company who is reported to violate the new rules.
The Justice Department cautioned employers petitioning for H-1B visas not to discriminate against U.S. workers. The warning came as the federal government began accepting employers' H-1B visa petitions for the next fiscal year. The H-1B visa program allows companies in the United States to temporarily employ foreign workers in specialty occupations such as science and information technology.

"The Justice Department will not tolerate employers misusing the H-1B visa process to discriminate against U.S. workers," said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Civil Rights Division. "U.S. workers should not be placed in a disfavored status, and the department is wholeheartedly committed to investigating and vigorously prosecuting these claims."
While the new guidelines will make it tougher for tech companies to hire foreign workers, they don't make it impossible. In the USCIS policy memorandum released last week, it's detailed that companies will have to provide more evidence to prove that the computer programming position in question is "complex, specialized, or unique" in some way that justifies the position being filled by a foreign worker whose skills could not be found in the U.S.

Associate professor Ron Hira, who has researched the H-1B work visa program, previously pointed out that the changes will directly affect companies hiring for cheap labor, while companies hiring for legally skilled workers will have less of an issue with the policy shift. "This is a step in the right direction in terms of tightening up the eligibility," said Hira. "You're going to have to beef up your argument for why you need this person."

In an interview with Bloomberg, Carnegie Mellon University professor Vivek Wadhwa said that while the H-1B visa is "flawed," the solution to the program's problem -- namely declining salaries -- lies in the green card.
"The H-1B visa is a flawed visa, but the problem is the next step - the green card. Because what happens is that when people have applied for permanent resident visas, they're now stuck in this H-1B visa loop. The easiest fix to the immigration problem, this issue about declining salaries, is to untether the visa from the [hiring] company. In other words, if a company hires someone on a H-1B visa, and [the employee] gets someone offering them a higher salary, then they can leave and continue over there. This way there's no cheaper labor anymore."
For Apple, the company has cited concern for the specific ways that Trump's order "will affect many visa holders who work hard here in the United States and contribute to our country's success." In a letter penned by Apple and a collection of various tech companies back in February, the group said that it is "critical" that the U.S. continues to attract intelligent workers from around the world, while telling the Trump administration that they are available as a resource "to help achieve immigration policies that both support the work of American businesses and reflect American values."

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Article Link: Trump Administration Delivers on H-1B Visa Overhaul, Affecting Tech Companies Hiring Foreign Talent
 
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jbachandouris

macrumors 601
Aug 18, 2009
4,994
1,973
Upstate NY
About time. The excuse that the H1B1 is needed because there aren't enough skilled workers in the US is a lie.

60 minutes had a piece on several companies who told their IT employees to train their H1B1 replacements to do their jobs or forfeit their severance pay. The workers that replaced them were NOT more qualified, but less.
 

zin

macrumors 6502
May 5, 2010
491
6,580
United Kingdom
The disgraceful fact of the matter is that it took Donald Trump to clamp down on the H1-B.

Where the **** was Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Tom Perez, Nancy Pelosi, or Chuck Schumer when they could've done something about it? Too busy trying to fast track TPP, that's where.
 

Plutonius

macrumors G3
Feb 22, 2003
8,590
7,596
New Hampshire, USA
About time. The excuse that the H1B1 is needed because there aren't enough skilled workers in the US is a lie.

60 minutes had a piece on several companies who told their IT employees to train their H1B1 replacements to do their jobs or forfeit their severance pay. The workers that replaced them were NOT more qualified, but less.
It's a start but there are still loopholes on other types of visas for companies to bring in workers.
 

WordsmithMR

macrumors 6502
Mar 17, 2015
351
437
Murica
I'm not sure how I feel about this. "Creating" jobs for our citizens is a positive thing... but restricting foreign workers from working in the US is not. There are far better ways to create jobs. Almost every industry you can think of has benefitted from foreign workers. From agriculture to Silicon Valley.

Not to mention that this just may force companies to increase outsourcing more work which this would not affect.
 

Huntn

macrumors demi-god
May 5, 2008
19,261
21,270
The Misty Mountains
About time. The excuse that the H1B1 is needed because there aren't enough skilled workers in the US is a lie.

60 minutes had a piece on several companies who told their IT employees to train their H1B1 replacements to do their jobs or forfeit their severance pay. The workers that replaced them were NOT more qualified, but less.
But they could be paid less at the cost of citizen's jobs. :mad:
[doublepost=1491312951][/doublepost]
I'm not sure how I feel about this. "Creating" jobs for our citizens is a positive thing... but restricting foreign workers from working in the US is not. There are far better ways to create jobs. Almost every industry you can think of has benefitted from foreign workers. From agriculture to Silicon Valley.
Corporations use foreign workers to disenfranchise U.S. citizens to pad the bottom line. It's as simple as that.
 

neutralguy

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2015
766
883
Thank you Trump administration. H1b is the main reason why American kids don't want to get into stem program. What's the point of studying hard and becoming a good engineer if the job will be filled by a low paying foreign worker. While stopping immigration is a bad thing, a check on what type of jobs are getting taken away by foreign workers is important. At this point, an American citizen has no hope to grow up and make a decent living in any possible way. The low paying jobs are taken over by illegal immigrants. The mid-high paying jobs are taken over by H1b workers. What else is left??? I am glad there is going to be a regulation on who is coming in and why.
 

forcesteeler

macrumors 6502
Oct 1, 2007
275
573
Very Bad for the Tech Industry. Most of the Best Talent is overseas, They are way more hungry than these lazy american millennials that just want high pay for just showing up.

You can look at hollywood, most of the actors are British and Australian, Most American Actors don't want to put in any work
 

usarioclave

macrumors 65816
Sep 26, 2003
1,447
1,506
Good. While there's a lot of talent out there, there were also substantial abuses of the H1B program (yeah, that's you body-shoppers).

Not that it's hard to get around the current regulations. Before, you'd just put a ridiculous requirement in, like "must know Sanskrit." Now they'll put a few more specific requirements, like "must be able to speak Sanskrit and work with international teams in Italian and have specific knowledge of X,Y,Z."

Did they implement the minimum salary of $150k yet?
 

michaelsviews

macrumors 65816
Sep 25, 2007
1,246
263
New England
The disgraceful fact of the matter is that it took Donald Trump to clamp down on the H1-B.

Where the **** was Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Tom Perez, Nancy Pelosi, or Chuck Schumer when they could've done something about it? Too busy trying to fast track TPP, that's where.
Getting kick backs. Wink wink, nodd nodd . Now my question is can this be reversed by some lone judge?.
 

rjohnstone

macrumors 68040
Dec 28, 2007
3,582
3,669
PHX, AZ.
About time.
I've seen a lot of good engineers at my work get displaced by less qualified H1B contractors.
Main reason is simple economics.
It's almost 3 for 1 with H1B salaries.
Yes, there are some brilliant programmers that come here on the H1B program, but not as many as corporations would have us believe.
 

masotime

macrumors 68020
Jun 24, 2012
2,341
1,889
San Jose, CA
About time. The excuse that the H1B1 is needed because there aren't enough skilled workers in the US is a lie.

60 minutes had a piece on several companies who told their IT employees to train their H1B1 replacements to do their jobs or forfeit their severance pay. The workers that replaced them were NOT more qualified, but less.
It's a start but there are still loopholes on other types of visas for companies to bring in workers.
Don't confuse the H1-B with the H1-B1. Although the names are similar, the H1-B1 is under an entirely different quota than the H1-B.
 

PracticalMac

macrumors 68030
Jan 22, 2009
2,779
4,742
Houston, TX
About time. The excuse that the H1B1 is needed because there aren't enough skilled workers in the US is a lie.

60 minutes had a piece on several companies who told their IT employees to train their H1B1 replacements to do their jobs or forfeit their severance pay. The workers that replaced them were NOT more qualified, but less.
Courtesy to add link (I believe you, but make it easier for those wanting to read more)
[doublepost=1491315520][/doublepost]
The disgraceful fact of the matter is that it took Donald Trump to clamp down on the H1-B.

Where the **** was Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Tom Perez, Nancy Pelosi, or Chuck Schumer when they could've done something about it? Too busy trying to fast track TPP, that's where.
What about G Bush? John Boener? Mich McConnell? that Majority Leader that was fired by voters?

Trump was elected because both sides failed to enact protectionism for US workers.
(Have not heard of previous efforts to limit H1 class of visas)
 

neutralguy

macrumors 6502a
Jun 5, 2015
766
883
Good. While there's a lot of talent out there, there were also substantial abuses of the H1B program (yeah, that's you body-shoppers).

Not that it's hard to get around the current regulations. Before, you'd just put a ridiculous requirement in, like "must know Sanskrit." Now they'll put a few more specific requirements, like "must be able to speak Sanskrit and work with international teams in Italian and have specific knowledge of X,Y,Z."

Did they implement the minimum salary of $150k yet?
^ this is more important and should be implemented.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,197
12,108
Europe
The disgraceful fact of the matter is that it took Donald Trump to clamp down on the H1-B.

Where the **** was Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Tom Perez, Nancy Pelosi, or Chuck Schumer when they could've done something about it? Too busy trying to fast track TPP, that's where.
They were hanging out with Paul Ryan, Mitch McConnel, and the rest of the GOP goons who were also not doing anything about it.
 

oneMadRssn

macrumors 603
Sep 8, 2011
5,197
12,108
Europe
Now my question is can this be reversed by some lone judge?.
No, because this thing Trump did doesn't actually change anything - it isn't a new rule - and thus there is nothing to challenge in a court. It's just a sternly-worded memo instructing the relevant agencies to become tougher in enforcing existing rules.

If you were hoping for some actual changes to the H1B program, this isn't it. Like most of president Trump's actions so far, this is all bark and no bite (unfortunately).
 
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jkcerda

macrumors 6502a
Jun 10, 2013
887
41,453
Criminal Mexi Midget
The disgraceful fact of the matter is that it took Donald Trump to clamp down on the H1-B.

Where the **** was Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, Tom Perez, Nancy Pelosi, or Chuck Schumer when they could've done something about it? Too busy trying to fast track TPP, that's where.
Exactly. Thanks trump
[doublepost=1491317147][/doublepost]
Very Bad for the Tech Industry. Most of the Best Talent is overseas, They are way more hungry than these lazy american millennials that just want high pay for just showing up.

You can look at hollywood, most of the actors are British and Australian, Most American Actors don't want to put in any work
Lmmfao. You have no idea what you are talking about here. HB1 visa holders are not replacing actors. Nor is it a valid comparison
 
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