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Trump govt seeks 60 days from court to respond on work permits of H1B spouses

LiveMint logoLiveMint 08-03-2017 Lalit K. Jha

Washington: The Trump Administration has sought 60 days to respond to a court case that challenges the decision of the previous Obama Administration to authorize spouses of H1B spouses to work in the US.

While the move by the Obama administration during its last phase was welcomed by the large H-1B community which mainly included Indians, several American groups challenged this decision in a federal court in Washington DC.

On 1 February, the Department of Justice had filed an appeal with the Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit entitled “Consent motion to hold proceedings in abeyance for 60 days”. The government has asked for a 60-day pause in the case to “allow incoming leadership personnel adequate time to consider the issues.”

In a statement, Immigration Voice on Tuesday said that this is “especially concerning” because Attorney General Jeff Sessions, when he was a US Senator, called the H-4 Rule a “change (in) immigration law in a way that hurts American workers.”

Even though this rule has actually allowed many H-4 visa holders, including named intervenors, the ability to start businesses in the United States that employ American workers that would otherwise not have jobs if the rule had not been promulgated, Immigration Voice said.

Immigration Voice on Tuesday announced to intervention in the Save Jobs lawsuit arguing that this was the “only option” to protect the rights of its members and their families, including children who are US citizens.

“There is nothing for the Department of Justice attorneys to confer with their leadership about given the District Court’s clear decision stating that this case had no basis for ever being filed,” said Aman Kapoor co-founder and president of Immigration Voice.

The recent statements from the government present an unacceptable risk for Immigration Voice members that DOJ might decide after 60 days to adopt the position of Save Jobs USA.

“Any failure to provide the strongest possible defence of the District Court’s decision risks establishing a precedent prohibiting H-4 visa holders from working under the current statutory regime. Under these circumstances, Immigration Voice felt compelled to act to protect the existing and future work permits of our members,” Kapoor said.

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