In Washington, a judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging the rights of spouses of highly skilled h-1b visa holders to work in the US. This was a significant victory for large technology companies. On Tuesday, US District Judge Tanya Chutkan upheld the Obama-era rule that the US Department of Homeland Security issued H-4 visas to the spouses of hundreds of thousands of h-1b visa & B workers in the US, 70% of whom work in the technology sector in science and engineering.
Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Google, and Microsoft Corp. were among the organizations that asked the adjudicator to allow the standard to stand.
According to tech companies, the ability of h-1b visa holders’ spouses to find work in the United States has attracted a lot of highly skilled foreign workers.
Save Jobs USA, a group representing computer professionals at Southern California Edison, claimed that they had been replaced by h-1b visa holders in her ruling. Save Jobs wanted to end work permits for over 90,000 new H-4 visa holders, claiming that Homeland Security was not legally allowed to implement the rule.
The judge wrote, “Plaintiff’s primary contention is that Congress has never granted DHS authority to allow foreign nationals, such as h-1b visa & H-4 visa holders, to work while in the United States.” This contention is deeply rooted in the Immigration and Nationality Act’s text, decades of executive branch practice, and congressional ratification of that practice, both explicit and implicit.
According to a Save Jobs attorney, the group most likely will appeal. We currently have total disorder as the government courts have held onto command over the movement framework from Congress and gave that authority over to DHS,” the legal counselor, John Miano, said.
The U.S. Chamber of Commerce and several tech companies were among those who submitted a brief to the court arguing that ending H-4 visas “would not only siphon off U.S. gross domestic product, but a gift that productivity — and the innovation that comes with it — to other nations.”
According to them, 87% of the affected families had based important life decisions, such as whether to buy a house or have a child, on the spouse of a skilled worker’s ability to work under H-4.
Save Jobs lacked standing to challenge the H-4 rule, which led Chutkan to dismiss the suit. However, in 2019, a federal appeals court overturned that decision and reopened the case.
Save Jobs USA v. U.S. Department of Homeland Security, 15-cv-00615, District of Columbia (Washington), United States District Court.
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