Buy American, Hire American’ Executive Order to Lead to American Worker Protections, Says FAIR
The president’s Executive Order is a shot in the arm for America’s struggling middle class workers, and must now be followed up with legislation that makes permanent changes to our immigration system so it truly benefits America and its citizens.
—Dan Stein, President of FAIR
(April 18, 2017 - Washington, D.C.) - The following statement was issued by Dan Stein, president of the Federation for American Immigration Reform, in response to today’s Executive Order by President Donald Trump aimed at protecting American workers from mass cheap foreign labor.
“President Trump’s ‘Buy American, Hire American’ Executive Order is a step in the right direction toward fulling the campaign promise of having an immigration system that serves the national interest. It directs the relevant Secretaries to review all our guest worker programs and implement changes that favor American workers over the business lobby’s desire for cheap foreign labor.
“Guest worker programs, both high and low skilled, are supposed to supplement the workforce when American workers cannot do the jobs. In practice, however, they have been used to replace Americans by flooding the labor market with foreign workers whose skills are not distinguishable. The result has been displacement and wage depression for many Americans who have invested their time, energy and money to train for what were promised to be the jobs of the future.
“Today’s Executive Order also calls for ending the allocation of H-1B visas by lottery and suggesting reforms so those visas are allocated to the most-skilled or highest-paid foreign workers. The practice of issuing H-1B visas randomly has resulted in basic data entry position being filled by guest workers, rather than the admission of foreign nationals with cutting edge skills.
“The president’s Executive Order is a shot in the arm for America’s struggling middle class workers, and must now be followed up with legislation that makes permanent changes to our immigration system so it truly benefits America and its citizens. Employers should be required to hire American workers who meet minimum job requirements and the foreign workers they do hire must be required to be paid a fair, market wage. We cannot achieve the goal of ‘hiring American’ while maintaining a policy that allows them to bypass Americans in favor of foreign guest workers.
“We look forward to working with Congress and the White House to implement reforms to the legal immigration system that achieve the goal of protecting the interests of American workers while continuing to provide American companies access to guest workers who truly possess unique skills that will benefit our country.”