The decision is a victory for business groups that have challenged President Donald Trump’s moves to use the coronavirus epidemic and high unemployment as a justification for a quick curb in legal immigration.
“We need higher-skilled innovators these days more than ever before, and the administration’s attempt to advance these rules without properly considering its impact on thousands of people … could have devastating consequences at a critical moment in our history.” Manufacturers that have been part of a lawsuit challenging the new restrictions are in a statement.
In October, the same judge blocked the Trump administration’s total ban on H-1B and other foreign worker visas, but this decision only applied to companies represented by the business groups sued in the lawsuit, including NAM, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Association and TechNet.
This effort was the last extension of Trump’s April 2017 “Buy American, Hire American” enforcement order, which called on federal agencies to vigorously enforce immigration laws to protect U.S. workers.
The administration argued that the current system allows for “potential abuses” that in some cases “undermine the wages and job opportunities of U.S. workers.”
The restrictions in question applied to H-1B visas, H-1B1 and E-3 visas, which are often used by the technology industry to temporarily employ foreign graduates. The changes were issued by the Department of Labor and the Department of Homeland Security in two regulations in October.
The DHS rule, which goes into effect next Monday, has restricted the occupations that H-1B workers were capable of and how long certain beneficiaries can stay in the United States. The rule amendment stated that a position does not qualify “if the general education is sufficient to obtain the position without further specialization.”
The DOL rule, which is already in force, has raised the minimum wage that employers must pay to H-1B workers.