“America still needs our tech workers” | India sets the record straight for Trump

President Trump signed a “Buy American, Hire American” executive order on Tuesday, promising to protect U.S. workers by overhauling the H-1B visa program that is used mainly by Indian engineers and developers.

It’s unclear how the program may change, but India says America still has a shortage of skilled workers that the H-1B system was designed to ease. President of India’s software and services companies association Nasscom R. Chandrashekhar said “That core issue has not been addressed.”  The U.S. tech industry’s need for skilled workers is only “accelerating because of intense competition,” he told CNNMoney.

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Indian workers receive more than 70% of all H-1B visas, which are initially valid for three years. U.S. government data shows that nearly 127,000 were granted to Indian applicants last year.

A majority of them work in the tech sector, some for some firms, others for Indian outsourcing companies such as Tata Consultancy Services and Infosys who provide services for huge swathes of corporate America.

Trump and other critics of the program say it is abused by Indian firms, who they claim flood the visa lottery with applications and then send workers to the U.S. on salaries that undercut their American counterparts. In fact, India says its $150 billion tech industry actually creates American jobs.

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“We continue to invest in the local communities in which we operate, including hiring local American top talent, bringing education and training to our clients to shrink the skills gap in the U.S.,” Infosys said in a statement.

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