Positive job numbers continue to make headlines, which is good news for the economy and American workers. Additional good news came today for American job seekers; the “Hire American” initiative created by President Donald Trump is making it more difficult for brands to layoff American employees and hire foreign workers instead.
Outsourcing brands like Capgemini, Cognizant and Infosys offer employers a way to hire cheaper tech labor using foreign workers. This often results in the loss of jobs for Americans – who are often tasked with training their replacements before getting their last paycheck. The ease of finding, importing and then using foreign workers in place of established citizen employees has led to job loss for Americans, particularly those in the tech sector.
More than 100,000 foreign workers arrive in the USA annually as part of the employment based H-1B visa program. This visa can run for up to 6 years, and there are over 600,000 H-1B workers in the United States during any given year. An estimated 85,000 Americans are forced from their own jobs by the H-1B visa program each year; most of these workers are in the tech industry.
President Trump and Lee Francis Cissna, director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS), have worked to reverse this trend and prevent job loss. According to the most recent USCIS research, 92% of the employers seeking to import foreign workers to replace American employees using the H-1B visa in 2016 were approved. This number has dropped to about 75% approval in the last year.
The drop comes from the increased scrutiny for those using the H-1B visa. One of the rules of this program for hiring foreign workers is that there must be no American worker able to perform the job. Those companies that were importing foreign workers and then laying off Americans are now having to explain why they need foreign workers when they are fully staffed to begin with.
In 2018 alone, about 60 percent of brands seeking to hire foreign workers with the H-1B visa were asked to explain in detail why they were doing so, and why they could not find Americans for the jobs. In 2016, less than 25% of employers were asked to detail why they wanted foreign workers. In forcing employers to expand on their reason for needing foreign team members, the “Hire American” initiative has saved thousands of US jobs, as many were simply importing foreign workers to save money, which is not a valid use of the H-1B program.
“As part of our efforts to fulfill President Trump’s ‘Buy American and Hire American’ executive order, USCIS has made a series of reforms designed to protect U.S. workers, increase our confidence in the eligibility of those who receive benefits, cut down on frivolous petitions and improve the integrity and efficiency of the immigration-petition process,” a USCIS spokesperson said.
While more work is needed to prevent the frivolous use of the H1-B visa, the first steps have been a success and saved thousands of American jobs last year.
~ Liberty Planet