Big Business Assails H1-B Reform

Press Releases

November 16, 2020

IRLI defends new rule against court challenge

WASHINGTON—Last Friday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), on behalf of its client U.S. Tech Workers, filed a friend-of-the-court brief in a California federal district court in a lawsuit that big business lobbyist organization the U.S. Chamber of Commerce has launched against a new Trump administration rule tightening requirements for H1-B visas.

Until now, the Department of Labor has set the prevailing tech industry wage for the H1-B program in a way that made it easy for companies to pay imported H1-B workers less than Americans. The new method of setting the prevailing wage, IRLI points out in its brief, is more thorough and accurate than the old, and should result in fewer replacements of American tech workers with H1-B workers. IRLI also shows that, if the court concludes that the new rule is invalid because it did not go through the notice and comment process, it should invoke the public interest to allow the rule to remain in force while notice and comment is accomplished.

“It’s no surprise that the Chamber of Commerce has come after this reform,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “It was industry lobbyists like the Chamber, after all, who wrote the rules for prior administrations that benefitted employers but harmed American tech workers. We understand that big business has its priorities, but do not think the government should share them. We hope the court sees the clear lawfulness of this change—and where the public interest truly lies—and allows the reformed rule to continue in operation.”

The case is Chamber of Commerce of the U.S. v. DHS, No. 4:20-cv-07331 (N.D. Cal.).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • blonergan@irli.org

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