On Monday, The U.S government began accepting H-1B visa applications for 2018 with no changes to the program. While this is disappointing to the nonimmigrant temporary worker visa program's critics, the Department of Homeland Security said on the same day that it would be adopting a more targeted approach while making site visits across the country to H-1B petitioners and employers. (See also: The H-1B Visa Issue Explained)

In a press release titled "Putting American Workers First," the department said it has also created an email address where tips about violations may be submitted by whistleblowers and workers may send complaints about violations. The Department of Justice released a statement warning employers not to overlook U.S. workers for the sake of profits. “The Justice Department will not tolerate employers misusing the H-1B visa process to discriminate against U.S. workers,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Tom Wheeler of the Civil Rights Division. “U.S. workers should not be placed in a disfavored status, and the department is wholeheartedly committed to investigating and vigorously prosecuting these claims.” Over the weekend, the USCIS released a memo clarifying its policy on which computer programmers qualify for the visa program. (See also: Indian Temp Workers Taxed $3B Annually, Get No Benefits)

The unannounced visits by government officials are conducted in order to detect visa fraud or abuse of the program. U.S. employers are to follow certain guidelines when they seek to employ foreign nationals on the temporary worker visa, and this crackdown will focus on ''cases where the USCIS cannot validate the employer’s basic business information through commercially available data, H-1B-dependent employers (more than 15% of the workforce on the visa), and employers petitioning for H-1B workers who work off-site at another company or organization’s location."

Talk about changing the H-1B program has created much anxiety among tech companies and people they employ. Yesterday Google (GOOG) even felt the need to send a message to its staff. In an email obtained by Recode, the company's HR said, “Our software engineering roles don't fall into the job categories included in the USCIS's [United States Citizenship and Immigration Services] new guidance. We'll continue to watch the H-1B visa space closely and keep Googlers updated on any changes they need to be aware of.” (See also: Goldman: Trump Policies Hurt Silicon Valley)

Most likely to be hit are outsourcing firms or companies that rely on "body shopping." India's IT giant Infosys Ltd. (INFY) paid the government $34 million in 2013 to settle claims that it abused the system and Disney (DIS) was sued for asking its staff to train foreign workers who would eventually take their jobs.

While this increase in oversight will mean little for companies for who are following the rules, it does communicate to the public and employers that the Trump administration intends to effect changes in the status quo. Of course, one could argue that it isn't just enforcement of the rules that is the problem, and that the nature of the rules itself is the issue.

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