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Summary and Analysis on President Trump’s Executive Order to Prioritize American Workers for Federal Contracts

August 3, 2020

On Monday, August 3, President Donald Trump released an “Executive Order on Aligning Federal Contracting and Hiring Practices With the Interests of American Workers to prioritize American workers.” The stated goal of the EO is to create a policy where Federal agencies prioritize US labor for new and existing government contracts. As part of the EO, all federal departments and agencies will conduct an internal audit and review to evaluate if contracted work is being undertaken by temporary foreign workers or offshoring. If the contract work is being handled by foreign nationals or an offshoring model, the agency with have 120 days to report back to the Administration, with proposed corrective measures consistent with the spirit of the EO.

The Order additionally states that within 45 days, the US Department of Labor and Department of Homeland Security will take action “to protect United States workers from any adverse effects on wages and working conditions caused by the employment of H-1B visa holders at job sites (including third-party job sites), including measures to ensure that all employers of H-1B visa holders, including secondary employers, adhere to the requirements of section 212(n) (1) of the Immigration and Nationality Act (8 U.S.C. 1182(n)(1)).”

EIG’s Analysis: Clients should review existing government contracts – if any – and identify if visa holders (inclusive of contractors on visas) are assigned to government projects. While agency audits and findings are not due to the OMB for 120 days, visa holders (inclusive of contractors on visas) could be prevented from participating in government contract work in the future should the Administration (or future Administration) pursue the policies outlined in today’s EO. In addition, clients should be aware that the EO signifies continued cooperation between USCIS and the Department of Labor to share information and investigate prevailing wage and actual wage practice violations pursuant to INA Section 212(n)(1).

EIG expects this EO to signify more investigation into LCA and wage practices, inclusive of physical and remote audits of PAFs, LCAs, and H-1Bs at client work locations. Finally, as indicated on the White House website, the Administration will be extending their June 22 Proclamation to the end of the year, as well as adding additional visa categories to the June 22 ban. When more information becomes available regarding the additional visa categories added, we will alert/update you.

 

As always, EIG will be monitoring the progress of today’s EO and will continue to provide our clients with the latest immigration news and analysis impacting your business and employees.