H-1B Litigation

On October 20, 2020, the Presidents’ Alliance on Higher Education and Immigration joined with a coalition of business organizations and higher education institutions and, represented by Paul Hughes of McDermott Will & Emery LLP, filed a lawsuit against the federal government challenging: (a) the U.S. Department of Labor’s interim final rule, which makes unreasonable and arbitrary changes to the required minimum wage to employ H-1B workers; and (b) the U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s interim final rule, which would revise the definitions and standards for “specialty occupation” as well as “employer-employee relationship,” limiting petition validity for third-party placements. The promulgation of these rules significantly and adversely impacts the ability of higher education institutions to sponsor international researchers, staff, and faculty–all of whom serve critical roles on campus.

On December 1, 2020, the district court issued an order granting a partial summary judgement to the plaintiffs and setting aside both rules. In his ruling, Judge Jeffrey White concluded that the administration violated the APA’s notice and comment requirements.

On March 19, 2021, plaintiffs—including the Presidents’ Alliance—filed an amended complaint for declaratory and injunctive relief challenging the Department of Labor’s final wage rule and the Department of Homeland Security’s H-1B lottery rule.

On September 15, 2021 federal district court Judge Jeffrey White vacated a Trump-era rule that would have enacted significant barriers for international student alumni to apply for and receive H-1B status. The district court’s order also specifically cited the declaration of Miriam Feldblum, the Executive Director of the Presidents’ Alliance, in holding that colleges and universities had standing and could bring the legal challenge (page 6). You can read more about the decision at Forbes and the text of the decision here.

Amicus Briefs