Gaggle on Background on Buy American, Hire American Executive Order Aboard Air Force One En Route... Well, I think that the question is -- the lottery system right now has no regard for skill, wages, salary, et cetera. So if there is a way to not have it be random but take into consideration all...
PoliticalNews.me - Apr 20,2017 - Gaggle on Background on Buy American, Hire American Executive Order
Aboard Air Force One
En Route Joint Base Andrews
4:50 P.M. EDT
Q On the EO, are you asking agencies to consider getting rid of the lottery system?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: Well, I think that the question is -- the lottery system right now has no regard for skill, wages, salary, et cetera. So if there is a way to not have it be random but take into consideration all of those things, that's something that should be pursued. What can be done administratively and what can be done legislatively is part of what we're asking agencies to tell us. They've never been asked to go through before and look at all of the reg, all of the rules, of all of the guidance documents and come back with the answer to that question.
Traditionally, you can have a similar effect by raising the fees or the wages paid to H1B workers because it wouldn’t be a random lottery anymore because a lot of the folks that benefit from a random lottery that wouldn’t be able to anymore.
Q Can you repeat that? I'm so sorry, I didn’t hear.
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: So if you raise the fees or the wages paid to H1B workers, it has the effect of replacing a random lottery system, because even if you're still doing a lottery, it's not random because you're excluding from that lottery folks that are paid well beneath the market wage, or, if you raise the H1B fees, companies that are not looking for skilled workers -- because if they're looking for skilled workers, foreign workers, you're obviously willing to pay a premium. If you're not willing to, then I suggest that you perhaps have a different idea in mind.
Q What do you say to the criticism, one, that this is ultimately going to have the adverse effect, that ultimately you're going to look for skilled laborers from outside of the country, and two, that the people who want to see action, that's not actually demanding any action, it's just asking for a review?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The irony of the second one is you have reporters saying, why an executive order? Why not just pick up the phone and tell them to do it? Well, that's the point. The most muscular thing you can do is an executive order. So I'm starting on your second question first.
Q -- than an executive order?
SENIOR ADMINISTRATION OFFICIAL: The best thing that you can do in the realm of administrative action is an executive order. And so agencies now know that when they're asked to give us the full, total menu of all options, it's because the President of the United States has demanded it and specifically demanded it in the context of an executive order which says it's the policy of the government to promote job opportunities and higher wages for American workers.