During a tour of a tool factory in Kenosha, Wisconin, President Trump signed an executive order reviewing the H-1B visa program. The initiative allows companies to fill jobs with skilled foreign workers and it has come under scrutiny in recent years with detractors claiming it has driven down wages for Americans. Trump in particular has criticized employers for abusing it in order to avoid dipping into the expensive U.S. talent pool. Tuesday's executive order is actually fairly modest, falling short on abolishing the H-1B visa with any recommended changes from the review likely to take years to implement.
85,000 H-1B visas are issued every year and 100,000 more are extended or re-issued. Some of America's biggest tech companies including Google, Intel and Microsoft, are highly reliant on skilled foreign workers placed through the scheme. They are more than likely breathing sighs of relief today given the limited nature of the order but they could be at risk if the review ends up impacting the program. The workers most at risk of any changes include 126,691 visa holders from India and another 21,657 from China, according to State Department data. Last year, 82 percent of all H-1B visas were issued to recipients from India and China.
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