Displaced American Workers Sue Government for Alleged Illegal Issuance of Work Authorization to Foreign Labor
IR Law Institute, April 23, 2015
After attaining standing for clients last November in their challenge against an illegal employment visa program called the Optional Practical Training program (or OPT), the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), along with attorney John Miano, today has filed a new complaint against the federal government, asking the D.C. District Court to find that another employment visa program violates federal law. IRLI is suing the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) over its new H-4 visa Rule which purports to grant work permits to spouses of so-called “high-tech” H-1B guest workers.
IRLI’s client, Save Jobs USA, is made up of former employees of Southern California Edison, a publicly-traded corporate utility recently made the subject of a bipartisan congressional investigation for firing hundreds of American workers after forcing them to train their cheaper foreign replacements. The case, Save Jobs USA v. USDHS (Civil Action No. 1:15-cv-00615), could have major implications for users of H-1B visas, such as the trillion-dollar tech industry, and their corporate lobbyists who are currently spearheading legislative efforts to dramatically expand the number of “high-tech” workers that can be imported into the country. On top of their complaint alleging, in part, that DHS exceeded its statutory authority and ignored statutory labor protections when it issued the rule, IRLI is requesting a preliminary injunction from the court against the program until a full trial on the merits of the case can be heard. DHS was set to start taking applications for work authorization on May 26, 2015.
Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI’s Executive Director, commented, “DHS admits its H-4 Rule will add as many as 179,600 new foreign workers in its first year and 55,000 annually in subsequent years. This is a slap in the face to the tens of millions of Americans suffering from unemployment and underemployment, especially those who are most vulnerable, such as students, seniors, single mothers and minorities.”
Wilcox continued, “The law states that foreign work permits cannot adversely affect American wages, but all we’ve seen during this administration is standards of living fall and outsized corporate profits continue to rise. We will continue the fight on behalf of the American worker and hold this administration accountable to the rule of law.”