President Donald Trump’s administration has drafted an executive order that looks to overhaul certain work-visa programs, including those leveraged by tech companies.
“Our country’s immigration policies should be designed and implemented to serve, first and foremost, the U.S. national interest,” the draft proposal reads. “Visa programs for foreign workers should be administered in a manner that protects the civil rights of American workers and current lawful residents, and that prioritizes the protection of American workers.”
Bloomberg notes this means that businesses “would have to try to hire American first and if they recruit foreign workers, priority would be given to the most highly paid.”
Locals have praised the move, which mirrors a virtually identical rule in Europe, but tech companies have rallied against it, which suggests a disparity between workers and their employers in Silicon Valley: tech firms would rather allow immigrants to undermine the work of local talent.
“Although I think it’s great for other nationalities to have opportunities in the US, they tend to undercut their US peers’ salaries,” noted one user on Reddit. Lowered incomes brought on by cheaper immigrants makes it hard to afford a city like San Francisco, the user added.
The work-visa programs never functioned in practice quite as well as they had intended to in theory: as Bloomberg reports, most recipients of the H-1B visas “are outsourcers, primarily from India, who run the technology departments of large corporations with largely imported staff.”
“This is [President Trump] cracking down on American jobs being given to non-Americans,” another Reddit user chimed in. “The [work visa] program has long been abused and this is a good opportunity to set things straight.”