On Monday, US President Donald Trump signed an executive order that bans technology workers on H-1B visas from replacing American citizens in federal government contracts. This decision makes a direct impact on the Indian IT sector. Donald Trump took such a step earlier of banning H-1B visas for foreign studies and foreign work a month earlier.

“Today I am signing an executive order to ensure that the federal government lives by a very simple rule. Hire American,” Trump told reporters in the Oval Office of the White House before signing the order against hiring H1B visa holders for federal contracts.

“We believe jobs must be offered to American workers first”, he added.

This order made it mandatory for all the federal agencies for carrying out an internal audit to find out if they comply with the rule passed. This decision gave a blow to the Indian IT professionals who were eyeing the US job market. The technology companies depend on it to hire tens of thousands of employees each year from countries like India and China.

Donald Trump also said that he wouldn’t tolerate the firing of American citizens from jobs just for cheap foreign labor. Mr. Trump’s order follows the federally-owned Tennessee Valley Authority’s (TVA) announcement that it will outsource 20% of its technology jobs to companies based in foreign countries. According to the White House, Mr. Trump’s actions will help combat employers’ misuse of H-1B visas, which were never intended to replace qualified American workers with low-cost foreign labor.

During this signing of the order, one of the participants mentioned that 70% of the H-1B visas belong to the Indians, to which Donald Trump said that he believes in merit-based immigration system for bringing high skilled people for creating more jobs rather than taking the jobs of the Americans. The order said that outsourcing IT jobs involves handing out sensitive information which would also pose a national threat in the current climate of intellectual property theft.

Over the last few months, the Trump administration has undertaken many reforms towards protecting the American jobs by suspending H-1B, L-1 and J-1 till the end of the year. These suspensions will be carried out till December and thus can help Americans to find local jobs among the economic crisis due to Covid-19.