President elect Donald Trump has vowed to put an end to what he calls H-1B and L-1 visa “abuse” in a bid to tackle what he sees as the loss of ‘American’ jobs. Fortunately it seems that he has not raised any concerns about the E-2 Treaty Investor Visa scheme and E-1 Treaty Trader visa scheme. Some would say that complaining about the H-1B and L-1 visa scheme is somewhat hypocritical as Trump companies have recruited thousands of foreign workers in the US. Despite this throughout his election campaign Trump vowed to take a hardline stance on US immigration if he were elected.
In a YouTube video posted on Monday, November 21, detailing his 100-day plan following his inauguration as the 45th president of the United States on Friday, January 20, 2017, Trump said: “On immigration, I will direct the Department of Labor to investigate all abuses of visa programmes that undercut the American worker.”
While Trump, or his campaign team, failed to elaborate on which employment visas would be targeted specifically, a number of visa programmes face potential restrictions. Currently, US-based companies can recruit temporary skilled foreign workers on H-1B (highly-skilled graduates), unskilled workers on H-2A visas (agricultural workers), H-2B (seasonal, non-agricultural workers both skilled and unskilled) and L-1A (executives and managers being transferred to the US) and L-1B (specialized skills employees being transferred to the US) visas.
However, Vivek Wadhwa, a distinguished fellow at Carnegie Mellon University’s College of Engineering, told CNN money that he was ‘encouraged’ by what Trump didn’t say, stating: “What he didn’t say was that he was going to close the door to skilled immigrants.”