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Kim Hart Apr 3, 2017
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Without Trump overhaul, H-1B lottery opens today

A view of Wipro Ltd. headquarters in Bangalore, India. Aijaz Rahi / AP

The H-1B lottery for high-skilled foreign workers — the one Trump had pledged to reform — opens today without any White House action. By Friday, the government is expected to be flooded by almost 300,000 applications for a pool of only 85,000 visas that are coveted by tech firms to fill engineering jobs.

Why it matters: Trump campaigned on a promise to overhaul the H-1B program, which he said was used by some companies to undercut American employees with cheaper overseas labor. A draft executive order leaked out from the White House in February. Since then, immigration experts and lobbyists expected Trump to call for a reprioritized lottery system that would put outsourcing companies at the back of the line. The tech industry, which has pushed for an expanded lottery system, was widely nervous that he'd drastically curtail the total number of visas in the process.

But Trump never made his move — and the lottery will start today as usual.