Higher Ed Groups Submit Amicus Briefs Opposing New H-1B Visa Rules

(Exerpts from ACE News)

  • ACE and 23 other higher education associations filed two briefs Friday supporting a pair of legal challenges to new Trump administration rules restricting H-1B visas for highly skilled workers. The briefs express deep concern about the rules themselves, which are designed to effectively dismantle the H-1B program, and about how they were put forward without notice or the opportunity to respond-.
  • The departments of Labor (DOL) and Homeland Security (DHS) unveiled the new restrictions on Oct. 8. The DOL rule, which was effective immediately, will result in significantly higher government prevailing wage minimums for foreign professional workers, while the DHS rule introduces stricter eligibility criteria for H-1B specialty occupations and places new restrictions on H-1B workers at third-party worksites, among its provisions. The DHS rule is set to go into effect Dec. 7, 2020.
  • The two lawsuits assert that the regulations will affect hundreds of thousands of American-based workers and disrupt employers’ ability to hire and retain critical high-skilled talent. They also will have enormous budgetary implications for colleges and universities at a time when institutions are buckling under billions in increased costs due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
  • Colleges and universities rely on tens of thousands of H-1B visa holders to fill crucial positions for their campus communities: faculty, researchers, physicians, scholars, residents, fellows, and professional staff, in the areas of medicine, science, engineering, and many others. Yet, as has become all too common under the current administration, DOL and DHS did not give those affected an opportunity to share the impact these rules will have—as required by the federal Administrative Procedure Act—or to prepare in any way for the dramatic changes being forced on them overnight.