IRLI Moves to Protect American Workers

Press Releases

April 5, 2021

Asks court to strike down regulation that floods tech worker market

WASHINGTON—On Friday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) filed for summary judgment in one of its challenges to Department of Homeland Security (DHS) regulations unlawfully authorizing alien employment in the United States.

In this case, IRLI represents Save Jobs USA, which is made up of former employees of Southern California Edison who lost their jobs after being forced to train their cheaper foreign replacements.

At issue is a DHS regulation based on the H-4 visa, which Congress established to allow the spouses of H-1B alien guestworkers to “accompany” the guestworker to or “join” the guestworker in the United States. Under the Obama Administration, DHS added to the law governing the H-4 visa by allowing H-4 spouses to work in the United States. Since many of these foreign tech-workers’ spouses are tech workers themselves, Save Jobs USA filed a lawsuit in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia that challenged DHS’s authority to issue these work authorizations.

In its brief on summary judgment, IRLI shows that DHS has no power to grant aliens permission to work in the United States without specific congressional authorization, which is entirely lacking here. IRLI also shows that the regulation floods the tech labor market with low-cost foreign workers, greatly to the disadvantage of American tech workers.

“The media has largely ignored the problem of DHS creating guestworker programs through regulation,” said John M. Miano, counsel for IRLI. “The Constitution gives Congress authority over the immigration system, but more labor now enters the U.S. job market through regulation than under laws passed by Congress.”

“The Save Jobs USA case, aside from being important in itself, has major implications for the immigration system,” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “If the courts hold that DHS does have the authority it claims to permit alien employment through regulation, it can continue to wipe out the protections for American workers that Congress has enacted. We must not allow that to happen, whatever administration is in office.”

The case is Save Jobs USA v. DHS, No. 1:15-cv-00615 (D.D.C.).

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

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