From labor disputes cases to labor and employment publications, for your research, you’ll find solutions on Bloomberg Law®. Protect your clients by developing strategies based on Litigation...
A regulation that allows international students who graduate with science, technology, engineering and mathematics degrees to work in the U.S. for up to three years survived a legal challenge.
The Washington Alliance of Technology Workers argued that the rule that created the optional practical training program allows employers to skirt the H-1B temporary visa program for high-skilled workers without providing labor protections for U.S. workers. A federal judge in Washington, D.C., April 19 decided that the union representing U.S. STEM workers didn’t show that the Department of Homeland Security had done anything wrong with the regulation, either in its substance or in the process of issuing it ( Wash. All. of Tech. Workers v. Dep’t of Homeland Sec. , 2017 BL 128459, D.D.C., No. 1:16-cv-01170, 4/19/17 ).
The judge did agree that the workers represented by the union face increased competition as a result of the regulation. The Trump administration’s focus on protecting U.S. workers from displacement by foreign labor could put the Obama-era regulation at risk of being heavily revised or scrapped entirely.
So far the administration has remained mum about the training program, OPT. A spokeswoman for the Department of Homeland Security told Bloomberg BNA April 20 that the judge’s decision doesn’t affect the regulation. She declined to comment on whether the DHS is looking at changing it.But the DHS recently told a federal appeals court that it is taking a second look at a separate regulation giving work permits to the spouses of H-1B workers waiting for their green cards.
The departments of Justice, Homeland Security and Labor also have issued messages warning employers not to discriminate against U.S. workers when hiring foreign workers. U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, the agency that administers the H-1B program, also has set up an email address for tips and complaints about employers’ use of the visas.
President Donald Trump April 18 also signed an executive order that emphasizes hiring American workers. The order asks the heads of various agencies to “propose new rules and issue new guidance, to supersede or revise previous rules and guidance if appropriate, to protect the interests of United States workers in the administration of our immigration system.”
The DHS’s continued defense of the STEM OPT regulation likely has more to do with the stage of litigation than anything else, William Stock, the president of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, told Bloomberg BNA April 20. The lawyers already had filed their briefs, and so it was logical to see it to the end, he said.
What the agency does if WashTech appeals the dismissal of its case may be more telling, said Stock, who practices with Klasko Immigration Law Partners in Philadelphia.
New Jersey attorney John Miano of the Immigration Reform Law Institute, who’s representing WashTech, couldn’t immediately be reached for comment on the case.
The direction of immigration regulations in the Trump administration is likely to be informed by the views of Attorney General Jeff Sessions, Stock said. As a senator, Sessions indicated a belief that any work authorization that isn’t specifically authorized by Congress “is somehow illegal,” he said.
That means a cutback on work authorization could reach not just international STEM graduates, but also other foreign nationals whose work permits stem from regulations rather than statute, Stock said.
But that’s not likely to happen anytime soon, he said. The regulatory process is lengthy and it could be several years before the DHS finalizes any change to existing regulations, he said. And there will be “powerful voices defending the use of STEM OPT,” including through litigation, Stock said.
To contact the reporter on this story: Laura D. Francis in Washington at email@example.com
Text of the opinion is available at http://www.bloomberglaw.com/public/document/Wash_All_of_Tech_Workers_v_DHS_No_161170_RBW_2017_BL_128459_DDC_A.
Copyright © 2017 The Bureau of National Affairs, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
All Bloomberg BNA treatises are available on standing order, which ensures you will always receive the most current edition of the book or supplement of the title you have ordered from Bloomberg BNA’s book division. As soon as a new supplement or edition is published (usually annually) for a title you’ve previously purchased and requested to be placed on standing order, we’ll ship it to you to review for 30 days without any obligation. During this period, you can either (a) honor the invoice and receive a 5% discount (in addition to any other discounts you may qualify for) off the then-current price of the update, plus shipping and handling or (b) return the book(s), in which case, your invoice will be cancelled upon receipt of the book(s). Call us for a prepaid UPS label for your return. It’s as simple and easy as that. Most importantly, standing orders mean you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you’re relying on. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.960.1220 or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Put me on standing order at a 5% discount off list price of all future updates, in addition to any other discounts I may quality for. (Returnable within 30 days.)
Notify me when updates are available (No standing order will be created).
This Bloomberg BNA report is available on standing order, which ensures you will all receive the latest edition. This report is updated annually and we will send you the latest edition once it has been published. By signing up for standing order you will never have to worry about the timeliness of the information you need. And, you may discontinue standing orders at any time by contacting us at 1.800.372.1033, option 5, or by sending us an email to email@example.com.
Put me on standing order
Notify me when new releases are available (no standing order will be created)