The lawsuit against Trump’s ‘inhumane’ H-1B visa ban

RITU JHA

Donald Trump’s ‘visa ban’ is allegedly to protect United States workers’ jobs from foreign workers but at least in regards to H-1B and H-4 visa holders the ban is illogical and inhumane, a partner in the law firm that has filed a suit in the District of Columbia on behalf of families affected by the rule told indica News.

The case has been filed by 171 Indian nationals who live and work in the US but are currently stuck in India. These H-1B visa holders, their spouses and children are not allowed in the US, thanks to the new rule.

“To start with, the children of H-1b visa holders aren’t working,” pointed out Jonathan Wasden of Wasden Banias, which has won major court victories against the Trump administration’s immigration rules. “I don’t think US workers need to be protected from 5-year-old kids from India. If they do, we have much bigger problems as a nation.”

Likewise, most H-4 spouses do not have work authorization and are not in the labor market, he pointed out.

“Those H-4s with work authorization have been found to be a net benefit to the US economy. Most are highly educated and doing high-end work in the medical, information technology, and financial services sectors of the economy. Finally, the H-1B workers almost all have an approved Form I-140. This means that they are doing jobs which the United States government has previously determined that lack sufficient qualified, willing, and able US workers. In short, they are doing jobs that would go unfilled without them,” Wasden said.

“The true tragedy here is that these people all have longstanding ties to the US. Most have mortgages, cars, and their entire lives here. They went home for weddings, funerals, sick relatives, or just to see family, and are not locked out of their home.”

“We have clients with significant medical issues that are in jeopardy because of the ban and the inability to continue courses of treatment,” he said.

“So not only is the purpose of the ban (protecting jobs) not accomplished, the ban is inhumane.  But, given that we have an administration that sees no problem locking children in dog cages, maybe we are asking too much if we want them to consider the human element when crafting policy.”

He argues in the lawsuit that the consulates, acting under the direction of the Secretary of Homeland Security and the Secretary of State, “committed at least three reversible errors in refusing to process plaintiffs’ visa applications”.

“The first error relates to the Proclamation’s ultra vires suspension of the Plaintiffs’ entry in violation of the INA’s detailed and reticulated criteria for determining whether and under what conditions to admit skilled foreign workers. The second error relates to the arbitrary and capricious application of the Proclamation by Defendants in failing to support their decisions with sufficient factual information to show that the Plaintiffs’ entry would adversely affect the domestic labor market despite the Department of Labor prior approval of related LCAs and permanent labor certification applications. And the third error relates to Defendants’ unlawful suspension of Plaintiffs’ approved and valid H-1B petitions contrary to the procedural requirements of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA),” the lawsuit said.

The lawsuit requests the court to compel the State Department “to make decisions on the plaintiffs pending the applications for H-1B and H- 4 visas and to prohibit the DHS from refusing entry to the US, and to declare illegal the restriction on the issuance of new H-1B or H-4 visas or the admission of new H-1B or H-4 visa holders.”

H-1B visa ban affected families file lawsuit, detail trauma

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