Impact of 'Buy American and Hire American' Executive Order remains to be seen.

Impact of 'Buy American and Hire American' Executive Order remains to be seen.

On April 18, 2017, President Trump signed his latest Executive Order "Buy American and Hire American."

Although the present administration desires to reform the H-1B program, no immediate changes or impacts on H-1B’s are likely. The Executive Order states that “the Secretary of State, the Attorney General, the Secretary of Labor, and the Secretary of Homeland Security shall, as soon as practicable, and consistent with applicable law, propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system, including through the prevention of fraud or abuse and suggest reforms to help ensure that H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.”

It thus appears that the agencies are asked to assess policies to root out ‘fraud and abuse,’ and to propose additional reforms so that H-1B visas are awarded to the most skilled or highest-paid applicants. The reality is that many of the changes contemplated by the administration will require navigating through a lengthy legislative action through Congress or a lengthy rule making process. Therefore any changes to the H-1B program will take considerable time to implement.