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What Is Executive Order 13788?


Executive order (EO) 13788 is also called the “Buy American, Hire American” EO. It was issued on April 18, 2017, in order to give direction to government agency to tighten enforcement of existing rules so that American workers and products would be favored over all others. This EO has impacted how many visas for skilled foreign workers are reviewed and also directs the federal government to enforce regulations barring foreign contractors from bidding on federal projects, seemingly aimed at overseas “job shops.” While these changes appear to benefit American workers, ironically the current president’s business practices often contradict his political rhetoric. Parts of his clothing line were manufactured out of the country, and he hired foreign workers at many of his properties. Likewise, he hasn’t attempted to pass legislation that would end tax breaks for companies who ship jobs overseas.

This EO is an effort on the part of the current president to promote an agenda he had promised during his campaign to “Make America Great Again” through punitive treatment of anything foreign. This agenda item is largely driven by the administration’s support from white, blue-collar workers who were losing jobs in American manufacturing industries in the Rust Belt after he railed against free-trade deals and the outsourcing of U.S. jobs. However, a main purpose of this EO seems to stem from the belief that non-U.S. tech companies are somehow low-balling salaries in an effort to replace company’s U.S. work force with low salaried foreign workers, especially H-1B workers.

The EO also directed federal agencies to crack down on the perceived fraud and abuse in the H-1B visa program that allows highly skilled workers to provide specialty occupation services, often but not always falling into the high-tech fields. This has resulted in a growing backlog in H-1B petition adjudications and a lower level of approvals this year as the agencies tasked with providing various immigration services (i.e. Citizenship and Immigration Services, Department of Labor and Immigration and Customs Enforcement) implement the “extreme vetting” directives across the board.

If you have questions about how you to navigate the immigration system in light of the current executive orders passed in 2017, talk to one of our skilled Dallas immigration attorneys as soon as possible. Akula & Associates, P.C. have years of experience helping people navigate complex immigration issues.

Contact us at (844) 299-5003 or fill out our online form today!

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