After his tumultuous executive order restricting nationals of seven predominately Muslim nations from entering the United States, and the broad protests and political backlash both at home and abroad , concerns are mounting that President Trump's next move will be to restrict immigrant labor from entering the country to work in Silicon Valley.
The tech industry has publicly and repeatedly criticized Donald Trump's anti-immigration stance and reiterated their inability to hire qualified Americans to IT positions, citing a growing need to source individuals from abroad. (See also: Donald Trump Vs. Silicon Valley.)
Foreign firms benefiting from the outsourcing trend are also on alert regarding Trump's next move. According to ZDNet, India's IT industry has reached a state of "paranoia" since several Indian firms outsource their workers to American firms to work on tech projects.
Donald Trump's pre-election promises to revamp American industry by encouraging companies to "buy American and hire American," as he said in his inaugural speech, has led to widespread speculation that one of Trump's earliest executive orders will target the so-called H1-B visa program. Those visas allow non-immigrant workers to come to America to fill positions that require a high level of technical expertise. The program has been criticized by several on the left and right. The Atlantic has argued the visa program has resulted in lower wages, and some companies (such as California Edison and the University of California) have replaced in-house workers with outsourced foreign workers through the H1-B program.
Tech companies have also been criticized for colluding to lower tech wages. In 2015, Apple and Google settled a case which claimed the two firms colluded to keep wages low and stop both firms from poaching talent from one another. The firms paid $415 million to settle the case.
While the market waits to see Trump's next move on H1-B visas, the technology sector is in the red. The PowerShares QQQ ETF (QQQ) has lost 0.9 percent and the ProShares UltraPro QQQ ETF (TQQQ) has fallen nearly 3 percent.