A judge on Tuesday blocked President Donald Trump’s reforms of the H-1B visa worker program that allows Fortune 500 CEOs to sideline many American professionals and new graduates.
“Breaking: Judge White, Northern District of California, sets aside both the [Department of Labor] and [Department of Homeland Security] H-1B regulations,” said a tweet by the business groups’ lawyer, Paul Hughes. “These regulations sought to destroy the H-1B program.”
“Today’s ruling is great news for Americans, and for the ability of the U.S. to remain the top destination for talented individuals,” said a statement from FWD.us, an advocacy group created by Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg and other West Coast investors.
Judge Jeffrey White argued Trump’s rules were illegal because officials had not spent enough time collecting and responding to comments from companies and workers who would be impacted by the change: “Defendants failed to show there was good cause to dispense with the rational and thoughtful discourse that is provided by the [Administrative Procedure Act’s] notice and comment requirements … the Court sets aside the Rules.”
Trump’s two rules raised the wages that would be paid to 85,000 new H-1B visas by companies, tightened skill requirements for foreigners seeking specialized jobs, and reduced the duration of visas given to companies that import H-1Bs for lease to other companies.
The administration can appeal the decision by the San Francisco judge — but likely won’t get a positive answer before January 20, said John Miano, a lawyer with the Immigration Reform Law Institute.