Silicon Valley faces crackdown of H1-B visas due to Trump executive order

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President Donald Trump signed an executive order Tuesday that he said should help American workers whose jobs are threatened by skilled immigrants. (KGO-TV)

There is some fear and concern in the South Bay over an executive order President Trump signed Tuesday.

RELATED: Foreign tech workers in the spotlight thanks to Trump's latest executive order

It's part of his initiative to "buy American," and "hire American" and cracks down on immigrants who apply to work in the U.S. using an H1-B visa.

In Silicon Valley, finding enough people highly qualified in computer science is difficult.

"This kind of job requires us to have very specific skills and some experience," said software engineer Patrick Qi.

"We don't move here to take anyone's jobs," said software engineer Mani Askari. "We move here to become better professionals in our careers."

RELATED: New guideline for H1-B visas may make things harder for Silicon Valley

Both Qi and Askari came to the Bay Area as students and are now applying for an H1-B visa. Trump's executive order would change the rules for those visas that bring in highly-skilled workers.

Trump is ordering a full review of the visa program, to make sure the jobs only go to highly-paid, specially-skilled applicants, and not foreign workers.

"With this action we are sending a powerful signal to the world," said Trump. "We are protecting our workers. We are protecting our jobs."

"Fear, that's the word everybody is using," said Immigration attorney Shah Peerally.

Peerally says his clients called all day Tuesday worrying about the implications. He thinks Trump's order could scare the highly-skilled workers away from the U.S.

"If it doesn't work, New Zealand is welcoming me, Dubai is welcoming me, Canada is welcoming me," said Peerally. "Australia is welcoming me. Why should I stay here and those people, we need them here."

City and business leaders don't want that to happen so they are watching closely. Nothing will change until the law changes.

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Related Topics:
politicsvisaworkplacejobscareersemploymentexecutive orderPresident Donald Trumpdonald trumpthe white houseimmigrationimmigration reform
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