MUMBAI: The Bay Area Council, Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, University of Southern California, Stanford University, Cornell University, and several other educational institutions and trade associations have sued the Trump administration over the recently issued Interim Final Rules (IFRs).
Two sets of rules were issued recently as interim final rules. Those issued by the Department of Labour – hiked significantly wages for H-1B workers and came into effect from October 8.
The other set of rules issued by the Department of Homeland Security, which will come into effect from early December, set out more restrictive eligibility norms for H-1B visa and also curtailed the tenure of the visa to one year, in case of third-party placement of the workers. A slew of lawsuits have been filed against these rules in various US district courts.
This lawsuit-petition filed with the US district court – Northern District of California states that the interim final rules are designed to substantially restrict, if not outright eliminate, the H-1B visa category. These rules are extraordinary: If left unchecked, they would sever the employment relationship of hundreds of thousands of existing employees in the US, and they would virtually foreclose the hiring of new individuals via the H-1B program. They would also gut EB-2 and EB-3 immigrant visas, which provide for employment-based permanent residence in the US.
Despite their massive impact, these rules were promulgated without the notice-and-comment rulemaking required by the Administrative Procedure Act (APA). Because defendants (DOL and DHS) have no ‘good cause’ to dispense with APA’s most fundamental protection for the regulated public, the court should swiftly set these rules aside, it adds.
A press release issued by the Bay Area Council, a business funded public-policy group, points out that companies in this region like Facebook, Google, Apple and Tesla use H-1B visas to engage workers with specialised skills, and universities such as Stanford and Berkeley do as well. In the Bay Area 40-45% of technology companies have been founded by immigrant entrepreneurs. Of 91 unicorns (billion dollar plus companies) that were recently surveyed nationally, more than half had at least one immigrant founder and 75 had at least one immigrant in key roles such as CEO, CTO or Chief Product Officer. Thirty-three of those companies, which on average create 1200 jobs, are in California, with most concentrated in the Bay Area.
“Shutting down our pipeline of high-skilled foreign workers will be a disaster for our economy and for our post-COVID recovery,” said Sean Randolph, Senior Director of the Bay Area Council Economic Institute.
“These workers fill an important need in our economy and provide immense benefits not only to the companies they work for but the communities where they live. Many of the leading and fastest-growing technology companies in the Bay Area have been founded by entrepreneurs from other countries who first came here on visas. Closing the door to talent from around the world will drive those skills and the opportunities they create to other countries who are more welcoming. In the end that means fewer U.S. jobs. The Bay Area and America must continue to be a place where anyone around the world can come to pursue their dream or dream job. This proposal from the Trump Administration effectively ends that option. We can’t let that happen,” he added.
Thomas J Donohue, CEO, US Chamber stated, “The rules being implemented by the Department of Homeland Security and the Department of Labour undermine high-skilled immigration in the US and a company’s ability to retain and recruit the very best talent. If these rules are allowed to stand, they will devastate companies across various industries. The Chamber is proud to join our partners in fighting against these measures that will discourage investment, diminish economic growth, and impede job creation in the US.”
Source From : Times Of India