In 2015, a group of IT professionals sued the USCIS to prevent it from issuing work authorizations for H-4 visa holders. H-4 visas are for the spouses and dependents of H-1B visa holders. The IT professionals claimed that they had lost job opportunities to these visa holders.
According to the group, which goes by the name “Save Jobs USA,” about 90,000 spouses in the H-4 visa program have been using the program to work in the United States.
The lawsuit was delayed for a while because the Trump administration was considering ending work authorizations for H-4 visa holders. Now, the lawsuit is moving forward, with the Biden administration opposing it.
Overall, the business community seems to support work authorizations for H-4 visa holders. Google, Amazon, Microsoft, Pinterest, the Information Technology Industry Council and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, along with around 25 other organizations have filed a brief in support of the work authorizations.
The organizations’ basic argument in favor of the H-4 work authorizations is that immigrant families have relied on these work authorizations when making choices about buying homes and having children. Like American citizens, many immigrant families need two incomes in order to make ends meet.
After hearing their employees’ concerns, Google led the charge to file the legal brief in this case.
Now, a federal judge in Washington state is expected to rule on whether H-4 work authorizations unlawfully deprive U.S. citizen workers of opportunities and, if that is the case, whether there is any remedy under U.S. immigration law.
Business concerns support immigration in other legal cases
In a separate case, Google and a smaller group of businesses filed a friend-of-the-court brief to require the government to speed the processing of work permits in general. And, business groups are fighting Trump-era rules that attempted to mandate higher wages for H-1B visa holders and prioritizing higher-paid applicants for H1-B visas.
Inviting immigration by smart, creative, educated people and their families is good business, according to these groups.
If you are seeking a way to live and work in the United States, contact Yew Immigration Law Group. We have years of experience helping immigrants through the process of obtaining a visa.