“This ruling is an important victory as we can now ask the court to take action, in a single lawsuit, that will benefit hundreds of American businesses and the market research analysts they sought to employ,” said Leslie K. Dellon, staff attorney (business immigration) at the American Immigration Council. “Research shows that H-1B workers complement U.S. workers, fill employment gaps in many occupations, and expand job opportunities for all,” she added.
TOI in its edition of May 19, had covered the lawsuit filed by two US companies, MadKudu Inc and Quick Fitting Inc, on behalf of themselves and all US employers who are similarly placed.
The H-1B visa allows US employers to file visa applications for foreign professionals to work in ‘speciality occupations’ that require at least a bachelors’ degree or its equivalent in a specific speciality.
This lawsuit filed in a US district court (Northern District of California) by the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA), and the three law firms of Van Der Hout, Joseph & Hall and Kuck Baxter Immigration, sought to rein in the unlawful adjudication practice adopted by USCIS determining whether a market research analyst job qualifies as a ‘specialty occupation’. The lawsuit pointed at the agency’s misinterpretation of the Occupational Outlook Handbook, that profiles hundreds of occupations in the local job market.
“While this victory opens an opportunity for the entire class, I want to recognize and celebrate the courage of the named plaintiffs, and now class representatives, for stepping forward on behalf of those similarly aggrieved,” said Jesse Bless, director of federal litigation at AILA.
“We are hoping that a new administration brings more sensible business immigration policy to USCIS adjudications. When you have to litigate about whether only one particular degree can lead to a variety of professional specialty occupations, you know that the government is just reaching for reasons to deny cases,” said Jeff Joseph, senior partner and director of corporate immigration and employer compliance at Joseph & Hall.
“We are delighted that the court is holding USCIS accountable in how it adjudicates these H-1B visas. Hopefully, USCIS will learn the lesson the court is teaching it here—follow your own laws and regulations,” said Charles H. Kuck, managing partner at Kuck Baxter Immigration.