US Tech Workers File Response Brief in Case Opposing Illegal Issuance of STEM-Related Work Permits t
Making Government put the American Worker before Big Business
September 15, 2016
(Washington, D.C.) – After defeating the federal government in court last year, which had argued that a group of unionized tech workers had no legal right to contest a jobs-displacing, foreign labor program it created by regulation (without the required APA notice and comment), the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has filed a response brief (attached here) to the government’s motion to dismiss, which again argues that American workers have no legal right to challenge its harmful policies. The new lawsuit, brought by IRLI’s client the Washington Alliance of Technology Workers (WashTech), challenges both a 2016 replacement rule for the court-vacated 2008 STEM Optional Practical Training (OPT) rule and the original OPT rule initiated in the 1990s (again without notice and comment). The OPT program is nothing other than a foreign labor recruitment program created for billion-dollar companies to suppress American labor costs.
The case, Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. USDHS (Civil Action No. 16-cv-1170 (RBW)), has major implications for the ability of American workers to judicially challenge other programs of this administration, such as Obama’s mass amnesty actions which purport to expand dramatically the number of work visas and the terms or durations of those work visas. Last year, in response to IRLI’s prior lawsuit, the D.C. district court knocked down the government’s assertion that American workers had no right to challenge market-distorting mass immigration actions, pointing out in its decision that “an influx of OPT computer programmers would increase the labor supply, which is likely to depress plaintiff’s members’ wages and threaten their job security, even if they remain employed.” (emphasis added). IRLI and its supporters saw the court’s stern rebuke as a victory in itself, considering the difficulty private persons have traditionally had in challenging the jobs-displacing effects of the government’s mass immigration policies.
Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director, commented, “Our brief argues that American workers who are forced to compete with foreign labor absolutely have standing under D.C. law. Not only has the government here unilaterally created yet another immigration-subsidy for the trillion-dollar tech industry, it’s fighting against hundreds of thousands of American workers who are harmed by it now and in future.” Wilcox continued, “It’s very much hoped that the court rules in our favor so American tech workers and American tech students can go on in their fields with the dignity and respect they deserve.”