IRLI Files Brief Challenging Obama-Era International Entrepreneur Parole Rule

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October 18, 2017

Protecting the rule of law and the integrity of our immigration system

WASHINGTON — The Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI) has filed an important amicus, or friend-of-the-court, brief challenging the legality of a last-minute Obama administration regulation that would allow the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) to “parole” unlimited numbers of so-called international entrepreneurs into the United States and operate “start-up” businesses without ever obtaining visas.

“President Obama’s so-called International Entrepreneur Parole Rule was exactly the kind of unauthorized special interest regulation that President Trump has vowed to rescind,” explained IRLI Director of Litigation Chris Hajec. “But predictably, the foreign-dominated National Venture Capital Association and several out-sourcing consultants in Bombay have sued claiming their ‘procedural rights to parole’ were violated when DHS delayed implementation of the regulation before its original effective date last July,” Hajec continued.

The government has properly challenged the standing of these foreign interests to sue. DHS argued that allowing the rule to go forward, despite the government’s intent to rescind it, would create confusion and waste resources, and correctly warned that the radical new rule would cause a “tectonic shift” in long-standing immigration policy if not reversed. But DHS did not directly challenge the regulation’s legality before it delayed implementation.

“IRLI has written twice to DHS since 2016 warning that the proposed and final regulations were illegal,” said Dale L. Wilcox, IRLI executive director and general counsel. “Our brief again reminds the court that there is no provision in the immigration statutes to parole ‘entrepreneurs,’ that Congress has already enacted a comprehensive system of visas for alien entrepreneurs, and that the ‘anything goes’ reasoning of the Obama-era DHS would open the floodgates for ‘paroling’ unlimited numbers of foreign laborers, contractors, and consultants-in violation of the protections for American workers and small businesses mandated by Congress.”

The case is National Venture Capital Association, et al. v. Elaine Duke et. al, No. 1:17-cv-01912-JEB, in United States District Court for the District of Columbia. U.S. District Judge James Boasberg will hold a hearing on October 20, 2017 to consider the alien entrepreneurs’ motion for a preliminary injunction to force DHS to immediately implement the parole program.

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

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