CNN news 2017-05-20
AZUZ: U.S. President Donald Trump has signed a new executive order that aims to follow through on a pledge he made on inauguration day.
DONALD TRUMP, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: We will follow two simple rules: buy American and hire American.
AZUZ: Yesterday, the president visited the headquarters of a Wisconsin- based tool manufacturer. He said his administration would do everything it could to make sure more products are stamped with the words "made in the USA".
TRUMP: This historic action declares that the policy of our government is to aggressively promote and use American made goods and to ensure that American labor is hired to do the job.
AZUZ: But Senate Minority Leader Charles Schumer said in a conference call that the president hasn't stood up to China, which is blamed for taking American jobs, or do enough to help American workers.
SEN. CHARLES SCHUMER (D-NY), SENATE MINORITY LEADER: The president makes a promise, signs an empty executive order that won't help the life of a single American worker, smiles at the cameras and goes right back to happening, helping out the special interests and leaving America's workers out to dry.
AZUZ: One thing the executive order does is prioritize using American companies to carry out U.S. government projects. It also pushes for stricter enforcement of H-1B visa laws. That program aims to bring skilled workers from other countries into the U.S. But the Trump administration says it's been abused by some companies to hire workers who will accept less pay than Americans would.
REPORTER: If you're a highly skilled foreigner looking for a job in the U.S., chances are you're looking for an H-1B visa. But there's concern among some lawmakers that outsourcing firms may be exploiting the program. They flood the market with applicants who often are making less money than Americans.
Let's look at the facts: H-1B visas are offered through a lottery. There are 85,000 people awarded the visas each year and they're good for three years. The median salary for an employee on an H-1B is $79,000. And if the visa holder was hired through an overseas outsourcing firm, that firm makes money, too.
For example in India, the money earned by outsourcing firms makes up almost 10 percent of the country's GDP. The majority of H-1B petitions, around 70 percent, are from Indian nationals. China has the second most at just under 10 percent.
California seeks out more H-1B workers than any other state, followed by Texas, New York, New Jersey and Illinois. And where are they going?
Silicon Valley. Two-thirds of H-1Bs granted in 2015 were for tech jobs. And while sections of corporate America claimed to rely heavily on H-1Bs, many agree the system needs to be fixed.