On Wednesday (local time), a US federal judge rejected Trump-era reforms to H-1B visa rules intended to discourage US corporations from replacing American workers with cheaper foreign labour.
According to Nicholas Iovino, writing in Courthouse News Service, a nationwide news service for lawyers and the news media, the rules restricting H-1B visas were found to be invalid because they were issued by a Department of Homeland Security acting secretary who was unlawfully appointed to the position. Businesses and universities have complained that the Trump administration’s shift from a lottery system that selects applicants at random to one that prioritizes higher-wage jobs will make it more difficult to hire and recruit highly skilled foreign workers and students, according to Courthouse News Service.
The restrictions apply to personnel in the technology industry as well as doctors, accountants, professors, scientists, and architects.
According to Courthouse News Service, Senior US District Judge Jeffery White temporarily suspended the restrictions in December last year after a coalition of business groups and academic institutions led by the US Chamber of Commerce filed to stop them.
Last year, Judge White also rejected a second attempt by former President Donald Trump to restrict certain types of non-immigrant work visas, ruling that he had the authority to make such broad changes in a presidential proclamation.
The Chamber of Commerce and its co-plaintiffs argued the rules violated the Immigration and Nationality Act, which states that noncitizens should be issued H-1B visas “in the order in which petitions are filed for such visas”, said Iovino.