Bringing Tech Jobs Back – to Americans

Press Releases

January 17, 2019

IRLI fights for worker protections in the DC Circuit

WASHINGTON – Yesterday, the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), on behalf of its client, an organization of technology workers called Save Jobs USA, filed the opening brief in Save Jobs USA’s appeal of a decision by a DC federal district court to throw out the group’s lawsuit for lack of standing. Save Jobs USA is challenging the wholesale grant of work authorization by the department of Homeland Security (DHS) to the spouses of H-1B visa holders.

The district court had held it was merely “speculation” that these H-1B holders’ spouses would compete for jobs with Save Jobs USA’s members. But as IRLI’s brief in the DC Circuit Court of Appeals shows, there was compelling evidence that many of these spouses are tech workers themselves, and that as soon as DHS granted them authorization to work, they applied for American tech jobs en masse. Also, IRLI shows that DHS violated Save Jobs USA’s members’ statutory right to worker protections established by Congress.

IRLI also shows in its brief that DHS lacked the authority to grant work authorization to these aliens to begin with, because Congress never decided to allow these aliens to take American jobs, and never gave any authority to DHS to make that decision itself. As IRLI points out, this issue goes beyond even this case; in numerous contexts, DHS recently has claimed an unlimited authority to permit aliens to work in this country, most notably granting work “authorization” to illegal aliens in the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program.

“My client’s members are American tech workers who were replaced by foreign labor here on H-1B visas,” explained John M. Miano, of counsel for IRLI. “Now they apply for jobs over and over, and never even get interviewed. The simple reason is that DHS has authorized so many aliens to compete with them. DHS should remember that as a government agency, it exists to serve Americans, not to further the interests of foreigners.”

“DHS was unduly influenced by an industry interested in cheap labor when it issued this rule, with no legal basis whatsoever” said Dale L. Wilcox, executive director and general counsel of IRLI. “That kind of agency capture doesn’t go away overnight just because a new administration is installed. For months and months, DHS has been promising the court it would rescind this rule, but it has taken no action. Until it does, we will be working to have the courts do the job for it.”

The case is Save Jobs USA v. DHS, No. 16-5287 (D.C. Circuit).

For additional information, contact: Brian Lonergan • 202-232-5590 • [email protected]

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