Amicus in Support of OPT

The deadline to sign onto the brief is October 11, 2019.

Click Here to Express Interest in Joining the OPT Amicus Brief

Amicus Brief Opportunity. The Presidents’ Alliance is partnering with Jenner & Block to coordinate a higher education focused amicus brief. This amicus brief in the WashTech case will lay out the important educational role of Optional Practical Training (OPT) for international students, and will be open to colleges and universities to join.

In a previous member update, we gave a comprehensive overview of the latest developments in the WashTech litigation, including some of the most salient issues raised by the case. The WashTech lawsuit challenges DHS’s statutory authority to implement the OPT program, including the 24-month STEM rule and the standard 12-month OPT. If the challenge succeeds, OPT could end. 

Preview of Legal Arguments. To preview the arguments that will be presented in the brief as well as the kinds of data and stories we are looking for, we developed, in consultation with Jenner & Block, a document entitled Anticipated Arguments and Requested Information for Higher Education Amicus Brief in the OPT WashTech Litigation.  The document outlines best practices for members to collect and share information regarding OPT for use in the amicus.  You can download the resource here. 

Background Memorandum. For an overview of the legal developments in the Washtech case and the reasons why colleges and universities should consider signing onto the amicus brief, we developed, in consultation with the Presidents’ Alliance legal advisory council members, NAFSA, and our Jenner & Block team, this useful backgrounder memo.

Why Join the Brief?

  • The unique perspective of colleges and universities as to the important educational and training components of OPT is especially relevant.  Experiential learning like OPT for international students is a key component of U.S. higher education.
  • The internship, training, and career preparatory work opportunities that are available through OPT are part of the broader educational life cycle for all students, when they are enrolled and beyond graduation.
  • International students contribute academically, culturally, and economically to universities across the country.
  • Access to OPT attracts international students, and is vital to the recruitment efforts of higher education institutions in the U.S.  At a time when we are seeing increased global competition for foreign students, the impact of losing programs such as OPT would threaten the United States’ role as the leader in global education.

Next Steps. If your college or university is interested in signing on, you or your staff can complete the form at this link to indicate your institution’s initial interest to join the brief.  

Upon receipt of your form, we will share your institutional information with our partners at Jenner & Block.  Please note that completing the interest form or even signing the engagement letter does not obligate an institution to join.