Trump signs immigration labor order during Wisconsin visit

KENOSHA, Wis. (WLS) -- President Donald Trump signed an executive order entitled "Buy American, Hire American" that limits the number of highly skilled foreign workers that American companies can hire.

This visit will be Trump's first trip to Wisconsin since taking office. He faces an approval rating of just 41 percent in the state, which he barely won in November. "Making America great again" by bringing manufacturing back to the U.S. was a focal point of the Trump campaign.

"This historic action declares the police of our government to promote and use American goods, and to ensure labor is hired here to do the job," he told the crowd.

The White House said the program is currently undercutting American workers by bringing in cheaper labor. It also said some tech companies are using it to hire large numbers of workers and drive down wages.

Founded in 1920, Snap-On is headquartered in Kenosha, Wis., and was a symbolic choice for the event. However, half of Snap-On's employees work outside the United States in foreign manufacturing plants. Likewise, investigations during the election found that many of the Trump's branded products were manufactured outside of the U.S.

Trump signed his executive order in a room filled with hundreds of Snap-On's employees.

"With this order I'm directing every single agency in our government to strictly uphold our buy American laws, to minimize the use of waivers, and to maximize the use of American labor in all federal projects," he said.

The order also calls for reforms of the H-1B visa program, making it harder for tech companies to replace America workers with cheap foreign labor.

It was the first-ever presidential visit for the company, and while employees were told not to speak to the media a few risked it.

"I never thought a day like this would ever come in my life. It's a once in a lifetime thing. I'm still kinda, don't know what to say about it because I'm so excited," Carrie Hollis said.

"I'm shaking right now. It was absolutely amazing, it was pretty good," said Andrew Reynolds.

Not everyone cheered on the president. Trump was met with protesters, but they were kept at a distance from the company.

Trump's visit lasted about an hour and a half.
Copyright © 2019 WLS-TV. All Rights Reserved.