The Indian-American community reacted with pleasure and relief to news that the Department of Homeland Security would not rescind employment authorization for those on dependent H-4 visas.
As Dibyendu Roy, whose wife has an H-4 visa, put it, “It’s good to see that DHS is finally showing some spine.”
“It’s good to see some good sensibility from Cissna’s (Lee Cissna, director of the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services) team rather than outright sabotage of immigrant programs,” Roy told indica. “I think they have figured out that it’s not going to go down so easily, as it was never a legitimate move to rescind this rule.”
February 25, 2015, the Obama Administration had issued a rule allowing certain spouses of H-1B high-skilled visa-holders to work in the United States while the H-1B visa holder awaiting his or her a lawful permanent residency card (the green card). That later led to Save Jobs USA filing a lawsuit against the DHS in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, which rejected it.
Save Jobs USA, made up of IT workers who claim they lost their jobs to H-1B workers, appealed to the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit.
However, on April 2, 2019, DHS argued that the court should also toss out the lawsuit because Save Jobs had not proven that its members were harmed by those on an H-4 EAD.
“The case has no merit. But all kudos to the strong women of the group who stood firmly and fought against it,” Roy said.
Attorney Rahul Reddy founding partner of Reddy & Neumann PC, which represents more than 1,000 H-4 EAD clients, said the news was a relief though the matter was not yet over.
Reddy told indica that Save Jobs could now argue why the case should not be thrown out. Once the arguments were heard, the matter could be sent back to the lower courts or decided in the appeals court itself.
However, he said, the DHS decision was no big surprise to him, adding that Save Jobs had till April 29 to respond.
Reddy said that on April 8, the appellate court will hear Immigration Voice, which was speaking for thousands of people on H-4 EADs, would also argue that the case should be dismissed. It had made a similar appeal to the court last September.
Reddy said that the court case was not making headway but the current administration could still try to stop issuing H-4 EADs using regulations. It is unclear when DHS will publish a rescission rule.
“We are going to after the administration on that,” Reddy said, “We have our data.”