President Orders Federal Agencies to Give Preference to Citizens, Not H-1Bs

By David North on August 3, 2020

On August 3, President Trump signed an executive order giving preference to U.S. citizens rather than H-1Bs on federal jobs.

The language, as reported by Law360, seems to cover both direct employment of H-1Bs as well as indirect employment of them by federal contractors. The order tells the U.S. Department of Labor "to create regulations to prevent foreign workers on H-1B visas from moving to contracting roles that would displace American workers."

Presumably this means alien workers moving from direct-hire status to that of workers employed by a government-funded contractor.

The article mentions recent reports that the Tennessee Valley Authority had plans to hire some 200 foreign workers "on temporary work visas".

A few months ago, a Bloomberg News article told of something on the order of 2,000 H-1Bs being on direct or indirect federal payrolls, with the largest numbers working for the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

That article, by Laura Francis, noted that the Department of Labor — now tasked with making up the rules against H-1B workers — had 20 H-1Bs on its staff.

It would be wonderful if one or more of those DoL H-1Bs were assigned to write the new rules; it would be comparable to those many stories about U.S. workers being told to train their H-1B replacements as the Americans were shown the door.

The White House move is welcome, though it could have happened three and a half years ago.