3 articles about OPT lawsuit
3 articles about OPT lawsuit
Date: Monday, June 02, 2008 1:59 PM
<<<<< JOB DESTRUCTION NEWSLETTER No. 1874 -- 6/02/2008 >>>>>
It's still not too late to register your public comment on the OPT increase.
The deadline for commenting is June 9th, so don't procrastinate!
To find out how to do it, go to the newsletter archive and read the following
newsletter: "2008-04-28 public comment now accepted for OPT extension" or
click this link:
By an overwhelming margin the comments on the government website support the
DHS extension of the OPT period, and they are asking for even more goodies. In
stark contrast, not many Americans have voiced their opposition to this de-
facto H-1B increase.
Please don't blow off the importance of leaving a comment. I am sure if a
large crowd of people oppose the OPT increase it will help to support the
Another way you can support the lawsuit is to donate to the Immigration Reform
Law Institute. Somebody is going to have to pay for the legal fees so it's
definitely in our interest to help these guys win. Sometimes lawyers are the
good guys, and IRLI is one of them!
(both accept comments)
H-1B opponents challenge Bush administration in court Patrick Thibodeau May
31, 2008 (Computerworld) The Bush administration's recent decision to extend
the amount of time foreign nationals can work in the U.S. on student visas is
being challenged in a federal lawsuit by H-1B visa opponents.
The opponents argue that the administration exceeded its legal authority by
stretching the rules for foreign students by extending the length of the visas
from one year to 29 months.
The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Newark, N.J., by the Immigration
Reform Law Institute and joined by The Programmers Guild and other groups,
charges that the administration's decision in April to extend the work period
for students under the Optional Practical Training provision is little more
than an effort to get around the H-1B cap limit.
"They did this with absolutely no legal basis," said John Miano, founder of
The Programmers Guild in Summit, N.J. He said the federal extension will hurt
U.S. workers who are seeking job training because it will divert training
resources to foreign workers. "We hear over and over again that U.S. workers
do not have the skills to do the job," he said.
Others that have joined in the lawsuit are the American Engineering
Association and Brightfuturejobs.com.
Until the Bush administration, through the U.S. Department of Homeland
Security, made the change earlier this year, foreign national students
typically worked for one year after graduation on their student visa while
their employers filed for an H-1B visa. Tech industry groups, however, had
sought the extension because of the backlog for H-1B visas.
The U.S. has an annual H-1B visa cap of 85,000, which includes 20,000 reserved
for advanced degree holders. But demand for the visas has exceeded the cap and
for the last two years the government has quickly exhausted the number of
visas available. Industry groups argued that, as a result, it was becoming
impossible for students to apply for an H-1B visa, through their employer, in
the same year they graduate.
Suit Filed Over Rule on Foreign Students New regulations that extend the on-
the-job training period for foreign students with science, technology,
engineering or mathematics degrees from
12 month to 29 months are said to amount to an end run around the limits of
the H-1B program and harm American workers.
June 2, 2008
Suit Filed Over Rule on Foreign Students Individuals and worker advocacy
organizations have joined together to sue the Department of Homeland Security
over a new rule designed to ease foreign students transition to an H-1B guest
The lawsuit, filed May 29 in U.S. District Court in New Jersey, asks the court
to strike down regulations implemented last month surrounding "optional
practical training" for foreign students.
The new regulations, which extend the on-the-job training period for foreign
students with science, technology, engineering or mathematics degrees from 12
months to 29 months, amount to an end run around the limits of the H-1B
program and harm American workers, says John Miano, a computer consultant and
one of the plaintiffs attorneys.
"The DHS ruling encourages employers to discriminate against U.S. workers,"
Miano said in a statement. "Employers can now use the OPT program to train
foreign students for 2= years, rather than invest in our own domestic IT labor
The suit is on behalf of 10 individuals -- mostly computer programmers -- and
three worker advocacy organizations: the Programmers Guild, the American
Engineering Association and Bright Future Jobs.
A spokeswoman from the DHS said the agency does not comment on pending or
The suit is the latest skirmish in a long-running battle regarding the H-1B
guest worker program and the use of skilled foreign labor in America. H-1B
visas allow skilled foreigners to work in the U.S. for up to six years. The
program, which is heavily used by the technology industry, is subject to an
annual cap of 65,000, with some exceptions.
Critics of the visas say they suppress wages, steal jobs from Americans and
fuel the shift of work offshore.
Proponents say the visa program keeps high-skill work from going abroad and
provides talent needed to keep U.S. businesses competitive in the global
There has been high demand for the visas in recent years. In early April, U.S.
Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers the visa program, said
the cap of 65,000 had already been reached for the fiscal year that begins in
The new rule, which took effect April 8, responds in part to the so-called
"cap gap." That refers to the way foreign students in the U.S. on F-1 visas
who have been approved for an H-1B visa face a gap in their authorized stay
and employment before the start date of H-1B employment October 1. The rule
extends the authorized period of stay, as well as work authorization, of
F-1 students for whom an H-1B visa has been granted or is pending.
The DHS forecasts that the new rule s 17-month extension of optional practical
training for foreign students with science, technology, engineering or
mathematics degrees could add tens of thousands of workers in those fields to
the U.S. economy.
In announcing the rule in April, the DHS cited concerns raised by
representatives of high-tech industries that the "inability of U.S.
companies to obtain H-1B visas for qualified F-1 students in a timely manner
continues to result in the loss of skilled technical workers to countries with
more lenient employment visa regimes, such as Canada and Australia."
"This rule will enable businesses to attract and retain highly skilled foreign
workers, giving U.S. companies a competitive advantage in the world economy,"
DHS Secretary Michael Chertoff said in April.
But those behind the May 29 lawsuit say the regulation is hurting Americans
and breaking the law. The department "has both overstepped its authority and
caused injury to American workers -- just as the economy heads downward," Mike
Hethmon, one of the attorneys who prepared the complaint, said in a statement.
Hethmon is general counsel for the Immigration Reform Law Institute, a law
firm that advocates for protecting the rights of U.S. citizens in immigration-
-- Ed Frauenheim
The Battle between US Government and H-1B Visa Opponents
02/06/2008 by Liam Clifford
The US government has extended the amount of time foreigners can work in the
US under the student visa in order to deal with skills shortages and the H-1B
backlog; however this has been met with some criticism.
Each year just 85 000 foreigners come to the US as temporary workers under the
H-1B visa, this extension to the student visa should enable more people to
contribute to the US work force. But there are groups that appose the H-1B
visa and the amendments.
This comes as the Immigration Reform Law Institute and other groups are
challenging the US government in a federal lawsuit. Their main grievance being
that this, in their opinion, will be taking away job training to US workers
and redirect training resources to immigrants.
There is a rigid cap on the amount of immigrants entering the US under the H-
1B visa, with 65 000 visas given and 20 000 reserved for degree holders.
This visa is essentially the main route for employers in the US to hire
foreigners were highly skilled talent is sourced in sectors such as
engineering, science and maths. However on the April 1 application day the
amount of applications exceeds the yearly quota in a matter of hours.
"We hear over and over again that US workers do not have the skills to do the
job," says John Miano, The Programmers Guild in Summit founder, one of the
opposition groups involved in the case. He therefore highlights the
foreigner's opportunity to get hired over locals and is deeply apposed to
However, any major corporations such as Microsoft and Google need skilled
professionals and it is the brightest and the most talented that they seek no
matter their nationality. In their opinion these caps hinder their economic
development. It is their view that changes to US immigration policy is
essential in order for, not only business, but the country itself to thrive.
It is not an easy process to hire a foreign worker but by extending the
Optional Practical Training work from one year to 29 months, the challenges of
these skilled workers getting a visa is made easier. They essentially have
more chance of applying for an H-1B visa. Because of the demand the chances of
getting an H-1B from a student visa in your first after graduation is almost
Last year Google applied for 248 H-1B visas but more than 25% of these were
rejected. It is because of this and the like that many are calling for an
extension to the visa cap or a complete system overhaul.
Under the H-1B visa, someone can work for six years and then apply as a
permanent resident. Following five years of this, they can then apply for
citizenship. Because of the amount of visas received a lottery system is in
place that ultimately chooses those who can work for their sponsored company.
There are two sides to the H-1B debate and time will only tell which side will
be successful. Keep an eye on www.globalvisas.com for updates on the case.
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