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US tells companies not to overlook qualified Americans

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Author: AP, ReutersWed, 2017-04-05 03:00ID: 1491338561912299300WASHINGTON: The Trump administration has issued a stern warning to US companies as they begin applying for coveted skilled-worker visas, cautioning that it would investigate and prosecute those who overlook qualified American workers for jobs.The message came on the opening day of applications for American employers seeking visas known as H-1B, which are used mostly by technology companies to bring in programmers and other specialized workers from other countries.“US workers should not be placed in a disfavored status, and the department is wholeheartedly committed to investigating and vigorously prosecuting these claims,” Tom Wheeler, acting head of the Justice Department’s Civil Rights Division, said in a statement.The Obama administration sued companies for violating the Immigration and Nationality Act’s anti-discrimination provisions, including businesses that favored foreigners over US workers. But Monday’s warning in a news release at the start of the visa process appeared to be a first-of-its-kind signal to employers not to put American workers at a disadvantage.US Citizenship and Immigration Services also announced that it would step up its reviews of employers that use H-1B visas, saying: “Too many American workers who are qualified, willing and deserving to work in these fields have been ignored or unfairly disadvantaged.”The statements were the latest indication that even legal immigration will be scrutinized under the Trump administration.Broadband privacy rules repealedUS President Donald Trump on Monday signed a repeal of Obama-era broadband privacy rules, the White House said, a victory for Internet service providers (ISPs) and a blow to privacy advocates.Republicans in Congress last week narrowly passed the repeal of the privacy rules with no Democratic support and over the strong objections of privacy advocates.The signing, disclosed in a White House statement late on Monday, follows strong criticism of the bill, which is a win for AT&T Inc., Comcast Corp. and Verizon Communications Inc.The bill repeals regulations adopted in October by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) under the Obama administration requiring ISPs to do more to protect customers’ privacy than websites like Alphabet Inc.’s Google or Facebook Inc.The rules had not yet taken effect but would have required Internet providers to obtain consumer consent before using precise location, financial information, health information, children’s information and web browsing history for advertising and marketing.FCC Chairman Ajit Pai praised the repeal in a statement late on Monday for having “appropriately invalidated one part of the Obama-era plan for regulating the Internet. “Those flawed privacy rules, which never went into effect, were designed to benefit one group of favored companies, not online consumers.”Pai said the FCC would work with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), which oversees websites, to restore the “FTC’s authority to police Internet service providers’ privacy practices.”Republican FCC commissioners have said the Obama rules would unfairly give websites the ability to harvest more data than ISPs.
Main category: Business & Economy

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