US tells companies not to overlook qualified Americans

US tells companies not to overlook qualified Americans
In this March 27, 2017, file photo, Attorney General Jeff Sessions speaks in the Brady Press Briefing Room of the White House in Washington. The Trump administration issued a stern warning to U.S. companies as they began applying for coveted skilled-worker visas Monday, cautioning that it would investigate and prosecute employers that overlook qualified American workers for the jobs. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais, File)

The Trump administration has issued a stern warning to U.S. companies as they begin applying for coveted skilled-worker visas, cautioning that it would investigate and prosecute those who overlook qualified American workers for jobs.

The message came on the opening day of applications for American employers seeking visas known as H-1B, which are used mostly by technology companies to bring in programmers and other specialized workers from other countries.

"U.S. workers should not be placed in a disfavored status, and the department is wholeheartedly committed to investigating and vigorously prosecuting these claims," Tom Wheeler, acting head of the Justice Department's Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.

The Obama administration sued companies for violating the Immigration and Nationality Act's anti-discrimination provisions, including businesses that favored foreigners over U.S. workers. But Monday's warning in a news release at the start of the process appeared to be a first-of-its kind signal to employers not to put American workers at a disadvantage.

U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services also announced that it would step up its reviews of employers that use H-1B visas, saying "too many American workers who are qualified, willing and deserving to work in these fields have been ignored or unfairly disadvantaged."

The statements were the latest indication that even legal immigration will be scrutinized under the Trump administration.

While enforcement of visa abuses is not new, the aggressive position on the H-1B program is a different approach. White House spokesman Sean Spicer also addressed the issue at the beginning of his daily press briefing, saying the administration will crack down on businesses that discriminate against U.S. workers by using the visa program to hire foreigners.

Yet, the crackdown comes as no surprise. President Donald Trump promised as a candidate for office to "end forever the use of the H-1B as a cheap labor program." A draft proposal circulated in January promised to review existing regulations, find ways to allocate visas more efficiently and ensure that beneficiaries are "the best and the brightest."

Trump has yet to issue that order; the enforcement effort announced Monday could be an interim measure while a broader overhaul is worked out.

The H-1B program is open to a broad range of occupations, including architects, professors and even fashion models. Companies must affirm that the job requires a specialty skill that cannot be filled by a U.S. , but critics say safeguards are weak. They argue the program routinely lets in foreign workers with minimal skills, even though these visas are supposed to be reserved for highly specialized jobs that are difficult to fill with U.S. workers.

The tech industry insists the H1-B program is vital. Proponents say the program encourages students to stay in the U.S. after getting their degrees in high-tech specialties. He said many of them go on to start companies and hire U.S. workers.

Critics called the announcement and increased enforcement a step toward reform.

"While the laws/regs are chock full of major loopholes, the U.S. government hasn't vigorously enforced them," longtime critic Ron Hira, a Howard University professor, said in an email. "I suspect that many H-1B dependent firms are not complying with good faith recruiting promises. DHS investigations would help shed light on this."

The crackdown didn't surprise the Computing Technology Industry Association, a trade group that represents Apple, Google, Microsoft and other major companies. Critics say that many of the available H-1B spots go to lower-paid foreign workers employed by consulting firms that let U.S. companies contract out their tech departments.

"If it helps preserve the program and frees up more spots for truly exceptional people to continue innovation in this country, then it's a good thing," said Todd Thibodeaux, the association's CEO. "And if it squeezes out people out at the bottom, then so be it."


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Apr 04, 2017
The only thing I see happening here is that instead of work generated and taxed in the US and money spend in the US by this employee, will be done in the home country of the employee and the US will loose out on any income.

Apr 04, 2017
Quote from article "cautioning that it would investigate and prosecute those who overlook qualified American workers for jobs."

Wow, how cool! President Trump is doing great things for America. Now, let's hear from the slanders who want the United States to fail. Of course many of those slanders are non Americans who want to manipulate our system and our people.


Apr 04, 2017
If we had looked for the better candidates, we would not have Trump and Sessions.

Apr 04, 2017
Is derkis from the GRU?

His stuff looks suspiciously like it.

Apr 04, 2017
You gotta be kidding me. Derkis said he wants America to succeed and you say he's Russian. Give me a break.

Apr 04, 2017
I am sorry gkam, if you're addressing me. Like I have told you over and over, "I have muted/ignored any comments you make. NOT because of your opinions but because you VICIOUSLY slander EVERYONE."

Apr 04, 2017
"Derkis said he wants America to succeed and you say he's Russian."
-------------------------------------
Boomer, Putin says the same thing.

Apr 04, 2017
AND SO DOES EVERY PATRIOTIC AMERICAN! Go America!!!

Apr 04, 2017
It is interesting to see how conservatives view life as a big contest, to see who "wins".

Liberals realize we are all in this together and seek solutions which help all.

Apr 04, 2017
Obviously they can be pressured to do more and complain not at all. They have families they are helping and hoping to bring over. And it seems to me that these are also part of the military award system for being a US backer overseas.
While I'm on the subject, consider that the Mexican illegals Trump has singled out as a problem he has a solution for, are here because we destroyed the economy of Mexico by selling them corn, GM corn at that, for less than they can grow it for and it was their whole economy. Ditto for Haiti whom we sold sugar to cheaper than they could grow it. Why would we do that? To create an impoverished nation desperate for jobs on our doorstep. So here they are for jobs and we criticize them?

Apr 04, 2017
Gkam- conservatives realize people are people. Why help someone in another country at the expense of our neighbor across the street? Liberals don't understand that we are the United States of America...A country; One of many countries. We are not responsible for the world first but our families and neighbors first. America First. Once we do that, then we can help the world.

Apr 04, 2017
Mexico by selling them corn,Haiti whom we sold sugar to


Yep, we FORCED them to buy corn and sugar. We are sure tyrants for MAKING them buy our stuff. :-)
Your logic is perfect! :-)

Apr 04, 2017
Why help someone in another country at the expense of our neighbor across the street? .

Well said. But for saying that, you will take a lot of slander from the people on here that are from that other country or don't want America to be great again.

Apr 04, 2017
"Why help someone in another country at the expense of our neighbor across the street?"

Who says that is what we are doing? I do not see help for others, I see threats from the president. I see chest-pounding nuke-rattling, and blather.

Most folk do not understand the degree of specialization to which we refer when we need such folk. Many positions are not fillable by Americans because the field and skill set is too narrow to be widely available, especially if in demand.


Apr 04, 2017
"Liberals don't understand that we are the United States of America."
----------------------------

Stop it.

I'm a Vietnam Vet.

Apr 05, 2017
If a company has NO qualified American to do the job then it's understandable to look elsewhere. I don't think that is the case for many of these situations. NEVER go out of country for workers that can be found here.

Apr 05, 2017
Btw Gkam... Thank you for your service!
What I mean is Liberals don't get America First. Always America First. Things have gotten crazy the last few decades and now the USA has fallen behind many countries in most categories. We need that "can do" competitive spirit back.

Apr 05, 2017
According to conservatives, the invisible hand of the free market is all knowing, all powerful, purely good, until H-1B visa workers offer to work for lower wages, and then suddenly it's "get out the spray paint, saturate the room until the hand is revealed, and stomp on it til it's dead."

Apr 05, 2017
boomchacka, we have it here, but selfishness just bites back in the long run, as everyone does it.

We live on one Earth, and have no other option but to live together or die together.

Apr 05, 2017
Gkam- conservatives realize people are people. Why help someone in another country at the expense of our neighbor across the street? Liberals don't understand that we are the United States of America...A country; One of many countries. We are not responsible for the world first but our families and neighbors first. America First. Once we do that, then we can help the world.

Conservative are addicted to fecal regurgitation. Eat the same tired stinking shit over and over, and puke it back up. Its a filthy habit.

Apr 05, 2017
"US tells companies not to overlook qualified Americans"

Hey george just think, if guys like this were around back when you were job-hopping, you never would have gotten a job.

But then they showed up and invented HR and you never got another job again.

Oh well.

Is this why you hate conservatives so much?

Apr 05, 2017
just offered IMHO as food for thought:

most typical Americans can be liberal or conservative dependent upon the situation and topic

.

there are extremist idiots in both groups as well, and in that respect any political label is bound to have those singularly stupid people who argue with dogma and rhetoric over logic and common sense

IMHO - we also need both to build the nation into anything that can be labeled "great" simply because of diversity and perspective (the term great can be defined in far too many ways - but working together is likely the best choice over dividing the nation)

they both feed each other to help the whole because they cover different areas
http://www.tandfo...03028581

having said that: those who are fanatical adherents of either political belief are no different than fanatical religious nuts

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