Trump administration asks court to not block work permits for some H-1B spouses

The Department of Homeland Security, which runs immigration among other things, told a court in Washington DC in a brief filed Tuesday that plaintiffs’ challenge to H-4 employment authorization document (H-1 EAD) that it causes them economic harm is speculative.
President Barack Obama authorized work permits for spouses of H-1B visa holders whose application for Green Cards had been cleared but who had to wait for their turn to actually be issued one.(Reuters File Photo (representative Image))
President Barack Obama authorized work permits for spouses of H-1B visa holders whose application for Green Cards had been cleared but who had to wait for their turn to actually be issued one.(Reuters File Photo (representative Image))
Updated on May 07, 2020 06:53 PM IST
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Hindustan Times, Washington | ByHT Correspondent

The Trump administration has urged a federal court not to block Obama-era work authorization for spouses of H-1B visa holders cleared for Green Cards, who are mostly from India, in a major departure from the US president’s push for securing American jobs for Americans.

The Department of Homeland Security, which runs immigration among other things, told a court in Washington DC in a brief filed Tuesday that plaintiffs’ challenge to H-4 employment authorization document (H-1 EAD) that it causes them economic harm is speculative.

“Plaintiff’s five-year old affidavits do not meet this demanding standard because they say nothing about the present job market or threat of impending economic harm,” the brief said as reported by Law360, arguing the plaintiffs have failed to demonstrate how the rule caused job losses and how its revocation will help them.

Save Jobs, the plaintiff, represents employees of a California public utility company who were laid off in 2014, as the company outsourced their jobs to Indian IT services companies Infosys and TCS that use H-1B workers from India.

President Barack Obama authorized work permits for spouses of H-1B visa holders whose application for Green Cards had been cleared but who had to wait for their turn to actually be issued one. It can take years for Indians because there is a massive backlog of their applications, that gets higher every year because of the annual limit on the number of Green Cards that can be issued to applicants from any one country.

More than 300,000 people in the Green Card queue are from India and the present laws are not changed, the waiting time for Indias could be as long as 150 years.

The Trump administration has wanted to remove rescind the Obama-era rule but has not yet. The court has continued, meanwhile, starting in 2014, the year the rule was notified.

Save Jobs’s challenge was thrown out in 2016 as the court concluded its members lacked standing, were not an affected party. That was a win for the Obama administration DHS.

The court reversed the earlier ruling and said last November Save Jobs employees had standing. The plaintiff then sought an injunction blocking the rule. Affected H-1B visa holders India and a body representing them had argued against the injunction.

And how this brief from DHS.

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Monday, November 29, 2021