Trump's order on H-1B visas causes stress for tech sector

Updated 2017-05-03 10:31:36 CGTN

U.S. President Donald Trump has vowed to create more jobs for American workers. He recently signed an executive order attacking the H-1B Visa, which allows employers to hire skilled foreign workers. It's a policy that's becoming an increasingly controversial issue in the tech world, where companies rely on huge numbers of foreign-born IT workers.

SelfScore is a start-up that's raised 15 million U.S. dollars in equity by solving a problem, helping tens of thousands of international students build a credit rating and own a credit card - without having to have a U.S. social security number or credit score.

Founder Kalpesh Kapadia knows the difficulties of being an immigrant, having come to the U.S. from India as an international student and eventually working on an H-1B visa before becoming a permanent resident.

"Job creation is what it should be focused on instead of replacement. And lumping it in with the sort of Buy American, Hire American is not a good idea because there is a shortage of over half a million highly skilled people in the tech industry. We need these talented people to stay here and contribute to society like I did," Kalpesh Kapadia, co-founder and CEO said.

Kapadia has hired three H-1B workers at SelfScore. He said H-1B visas need to be tied to a significant wage increase in order to truly get the most high-skilled foreign talent.

One of the big targets in the debate is Indian outsourcing companies, like Tata, Infosys and Cognizant. The Trump administration has slammed those companies, accusing them of flooding the system with H-1B applications, likening it to putting extra tickets into a lottery raffle.

The early stage venture fund Unshackled raises money in order to hire immigrant founders to build their own startups.

Founding Partner Nitin Pachisia said it's the definition of what a high-skilled worker is that needs to be reviewed.

"What we are for is using the visa types that exist for bringing in or to bring in the top talent all over the world. The more we can use these existing visas to bring in the top talented folks from all over the world, the better it is for America, because the top talent is what is going to create jobs," Pachisia said.

A recent study from job-search company Glassdoor did find that H-1B software engineers and programming analysts typically earned less than U.S. workers, but that wasn't the case overall.

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