Jan 12, 2017

Trump eyes fixes for H-1B visas

Evan Vucci / AP

Trump wants to modify the temporary visa program used by big companies, including major tech firms like Microsoft and Google, to fill high-skilled jobs.

The big question: How severely will he try to curtail the so-called H1-B visas for foreign workers? The proposals include:

  1. Stephen Miller, a policy advisor to Trump who used to work for Jeff Sessions, has suggested getting rid of the current lottery system used to distribute the visas. A possibility is to replace it with a system that favor visa petitions for jobs that pay the highest salaries, Reuters reports.
  2. Another proposal that was discussed at last month's Trump-Tech meeting in New York, according to Reuters, included raising the cost of visa applications from large companies to discourage huge filing numbers.

What it means for tech: Major tech firms seem open to possible modifications of the program as long as it isn't significantly curtailed or shut down altogether. They also aren't opposed to efforts to address existing fraud of the program. They'll be watching this issue closely.

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Government tech struggles to dole out coronavirus stimulus cash

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Tech challenges are hampering federal and state government efforts to get funds from the $2 trillion coronavirus relief law into the hands of newly unemployed workers and struggling small businesses who need it.

Why it matters: Many businesses and individuals need the money now for essentials, including meeting payroll and paying rent.

U.S. coronavirus updates: Death toll passes 9,600

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins; Map: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Recorded deaths from the novel coronavirus surpassed 9,600 in the U.S. on Monday, per Johns Hopkins data. More than 1,000 people in the U.S. have died of coronavirus-related conditions each day since April 1.

Why it matters: U.S. Surgeon General Jerome Adams said on Sunday the coming week will be "the hardest and saddest week of most Americans' lives" — calling it our "our Pearl Harbor, our 9/11 moment."

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 1,289,380 — Total deaths: 70,590 — Total recoveries: 270,372Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of 10 a.m. ET: 337,971 — Total deaths: 9,654 — Total recoveries: 17,582Map.
  3. Federal government latest: White House adviser Peter Navarro defends hydroxychloroquine use in heated CNN interview after he battled Anthony Fauci in the Situation Room over its use.
  4. Public health latest: Health care workers vs. the coronavirus
  5. Trump latest: The pandemic may delay a Supreme Court case on the president's tax returns, sparing him from having to release them before the 2020 election.
  6. World update: U.K. Prime Minister Boris Johnson was admitted to the hospital as a "precautionary step."
  7. What should I do? Pets, moving and personal health. Answers about the virus from Axios expertsWhat to know about social distancingQ&A: Minimizing your coronavirus risk.
  8. Other resources: CDC on how to avoid the virus, what to do if you get it.

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