Does Trump’s ‘Hire American’ Executive Order Impact Immigration Law?


In April, President Donald Trump issued his Hire American immigration order. The order issued on April 18 was called Buy American and Hire American.

Although the executive order does not directly impact immigration law, it could have a longer term impact.

The order mandates a number of executive agencies to propose new rules and issue new guidance “to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system.”

Immigration law book

It also provides more details of the concepts of buying and hiring American.

The Definition of Hire American in Trump’s Executive Orders

The order is intended to create higher wages and boost employment rates for workers in the United States. It claims to protect their economic interests. It says the executive branch must rigorously enforce and administer the laws relating to entry into the United States of workers from foreign countries, including section 212(a)(5) of the Immigration and the Nationality Act.

Under the order agencies must issue guidance on hiring and buying American within 60 days of the date of the order. The officials and agencies asked to collaborate on guidance are.

  • The Secretary of Labor;
  • The United States Trade Representative;
  • The Secretary of Commerce;
  • The Director of the Office of Management and Budget;
  • The Federal Acquisition Regulatory Council.

Within 150 days of the date of this order, the United States Trade Representative and the Secretary of Commerce will assess the impacts of all United States free trade agreements and the World Trade Organization Agreement on what the government should buy and the operation of Buy American Laws. This includes their impacts on the implementation of domestic procurement policies.

Trumps’ executive order is relevant from the immigration standpoint due to the review of H-1B visas.

The order calls for a review of these skilled worker visas which allow 85,000 people from abroad – mostly computer workers – to apply.

In a recent article, The New Yorker branded Trump’s Buy American and Hire American executive order as hollow and lacking in real provisions.

It said the rhetorical significance of the H-1B provisions were more important than the actual provisions.

The unemployment rate for computer and mathematical occupations is just over 2 percent, meaning there is little prospect of American workers being deprived of a job. The number of jobs in these fields is growing by about 12 percent every year.

The executive order may force firms to pay more for H-1B visas and result in a crackdown on outsourcing, we point out on our website.

However, for now the questions outweigh the certainties about the immigration order. If you require the services of an Austin immigration lawyer, please call Peek Law Group at  (512) 399-2311.

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