A number of multinational tech companies fear what could be President Donald Trump’s next move on the issue of foreign guest worker visas that are allotted to corporations every year.
Under Trump’s drafted executive order, the H-1B visa, which Silicon Valley tech companies use to hire foreign high-skilled workers, would be reviewed “to make H-1B allocation more efficient and ensure that beneficiaries of the program are the best and brightest rather than arbitrarily distributed by lottery.”
Multinational tech giants based in India fear that the number of H-1B visas could be slashed under Trump or GOP legislation, a policy which Trump has said puts American workers first.
Tech outsourcing companies based out of India like Infosys, Cognizant, Tata Consultancy Services, and Wipro are all bracing for potential reforms in the H-1B visa, CNBC reported.
India’s corporations are particularly concerned about any reforms to the H-1B visa program, as workers from that country account for nearly 70 percent of all of the H-1B visas allotted every year, according to research by the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS).
“Residents of Andhra Pradesh, Tamil Nadu, and Karnataka, as we will show, have 24 times the chance of being hired as an H-1B as the average resident of the world, excluding U.S. workers, who, of course, have zero chance of being hired in this program,” David North, an immigration expert with CIS, wrote.
Financiers in India voiced their concerns last month when they wrote about their fearfulness of H-1B visa reform under Trump.
“Immigration restrictions are the main source of India’s vulnerability,” the Chief India Economist with Nomura Sonal Varma wrote to clients, according to CNBC.
Likewise, Citi’s Director for India Research Surendra Goyal told clients that “Immigration reform remains an overhang to watch and likely a key theme for the IT services sector in 2017.”
Director of Governmental Affairs for NumbersUSA Rosemary Jenks told Breitbart Texas that Trump’s executive order draft is feared by multinationals for the specific reason that it throws a wrench in their current model where tech departments are handed over to consulting firms who then find cheap, foreign workers to fill job positions.
“These would be hurt the worst and fastest by what the executive order is proposing. Their whole business model goes out the window,” Jenks said in an interview.
Jenks warned that even if Trump does eventually sign the drafted order on the issue, it would not be the end-all solution to ending abuse within the H-1B visa system where older workers and STEM graduates are discriminated against.
“The executive order will not address all the problems with H-1B,” Jenks said. “It would be unfortunate if the only thing we did was fix some of the problems through executive orders.”
John Binder is a contributor for Breitbart Texas. Follow him on Twitter at @JxhnBinder.