Wednesday, February 1, 2017

Trump's Next Order: Work Visa Programs

The nation is still responding to Trump's executive order that is totally not a Muslim ban (alternative facts, am I right?), and multiple tech companies have spoken out against the order. But he's not done yet; he's currently drafting another executive order that targets work visa programs, a move that will have an even more immediate impact on various tech companies. A draft of the proposal was leaked by Vox and can be found here.

The report specifically references the employing of immigrants (especially illegal immigrants) to fill low-skilled jobs, so one would imagine that this proposed order would seek to curtail bringing in low-skill workers from overseas, right?

Not really.

Caroline Fairchild at LinkedIn interviewed Daniel Costa, director of immigration law and policy research at the Economic Policy Institute, who shared that (unsurprisingly) this executive order does very little to limit work visas for low-skilled jobs:
If the order is signed it will mostly impact the companies that hire and employ temporary foreign workers in skilled visa programs, like the H-1B and L-1 visa. Unfortunately there is virtually nothing in there that will impact companies that hire temporary foreign workers through the main visa programs that facilitate hiring lesser-skilled, low-wage workers – the H-2A and H-2B visa programs – which are used to hire workers to do agricultural work on farms, or for landscaping or construction jobs, etc., and where countless worker abuses and human trafficking have occurred. However, one low-wage temporary visa program, the Summer Work Travel program which is run by the State Department, may get a new set of rules, which are much needed, in my opinion, based on the multiple scandals that have occurred.
The order proposes an audit of employers using the work visa program and greater transparency of immigration data, which Costa thinks could improve conditions for both US and foreign workers, or at least lead to improvements, though I'm cynical that auditing and gathering better data will be used by the Trump administration to improve anything for anyone. And the even more cynical part of me thinks this would be a great way to identify who they can target for bribes to bypass any of these new policies. Sorry, did I say bribes? I meant alternative donations.

And, also unsurprisingly, the order proposes a commission (yes, another commission of potentially unvetted appointees) to examine current immigration policies and make recommendations for improvements.

No comments:

Post a Comment