OPT Amicus Brief Actions
On June 21, 2021, the Presidents’ Alliance, in collaboration with Jenner & Block, filed an amicus brief in support of Optional Practical Training (OPT) in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. Department Of Homeland Security et al. The brief was joined by 151 public and private universities and colleges representing all sectors of higher education. The brief and its diverse, wide-ranging list of supporters demonstrated how colleges, universities, and the economy benefit tremendously from OPT. This is an update to the original brief filed on November 21, 2019.
For more information on this case, see our press statement, the backgrounder prepared by the Presidents’ Alliance and partners, and NAFSA’s website.
Update (May 4, 2023)
Update (October 4, 2022)
On October 4, 2022, the D.C. U.S. Court of Appeals ruled in a resounding 2-1 decision affirming the judgment of the district court and upholding the administration’s legal authority to allow F-1 international students to work in the U.S. after graduation under OPT and STEM OPT. The opinion can be found here.
Update (November 3, 2021)
On November 3, 2021, a three-judge panel of the Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit heard oral argument in the WashTech (Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. DHS et al.et al., No. 21-5028) case. The panel seemed primarily interested in—whether WashTech has sufficiently established that its members are in fact in direct competition with OPT participants. Counsel for the government argued that WashTech may not invoke the “competitor standing” doctrine because evidence suggests that OPT program participants frequently help create jobs, not “take” them. Addressing the merits of the case, he then argued that the F-1 visa determination is one made at the time of entry and permits post-graduation practical training, advocating a “functional” interpretive approach that has guided the interpretation of our nation’s immigration laws. Counsel for intervenors U.S. Chamber of Commerce and National Association of Manufacturers then defended the OPT program as a permissible exercise of agency interpretation vis-à-vis the relevant congressional statutes.
Update (July 6, 2021)
On July 6, 2021, Presidents’ Alliance filed a reply to WashTech’s attempt to bar the amicus brief filed on June 21, 2021.
Update (June 21, 2021)
On June 21, 2021, in accordance with the deadline provided by the court, the Presidents’ Alliance filed the amicus brief. This is an update on the brief originally filed on November 21, 2021. The signatories of the brief can be viewed here.
Update (March 26, 2021)
On January 28, 2021, the federal district court judge in the WashTech litigation issued summary judgement in favor of the government and intervenors; and denied the motion to strike the Presidents’ Alliance amicus brief. The plaintiffs filed an appeal on January 29, 2021, and on March 26, 2021, the court set the deadline for amicus briefs for June 11, 2021.
Update (December 2, 2020)
On November 30, 2020, a federal judge in the district court for the District of Columbia concluded that the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has legal authority to allow foreign students to work in the U.S. after graduation under OPT. The judge granted summary judgment to DHS and the parties that intervened in the lawsuit in support of OPT, the National Association of Manufacturers, U.S. Chamber of Commerce, and Information Technology Industry Council. The judge will issue a memorandum opinion and final order confirming these conclusions, “absent extraordinary circumstances,” in the next 60 days.
Additionally, the judge denied the plaintiffs’ motion to strike the higher education amicus brief which the Presidents’ Alliance coordinated and to which 118 colleges and universities joined. As noted in our response to the plaintiffs’ motion, the perspectives of institutions of higher education “can, and should, aid the Court as it considers the case.”
Original Filing (November 21, 2019)
On November 21, 2019, the Presidents’ Alliance, in collaboration with Jenner & Block, filed an amicus brief in support of Optional Practical Training (OPT) in Washington Alliance of Technology Workers v. Department Of Homeland Security et al. The brief was joined by 118 public and private universities and colleges representing all sectors of higher education. The brief and its diverse, wide-ranging list of supporters demonstrated how colleges, universities, and the economy benefit tremendously from OPT.
- Opinion of the U.S. Court of Appeals (October 4, 2022)
- OPT Amicus Brief Signatories (June 21, 2021)
- OPT Amicus Brief (June 21, 2021)
- Supporting Optional Practical Training in the Washtech case: The Important Perspective from U.S. Higher Education (May 4, 2021)
- Opinion and Order Granting Summary Judgement for Intervenors and Federal Government (January 29, 2021)
- Order Granting Defendants’ Cross-Motion and Intervenors’ Motion for Summary Judgment (November 30, 2020)
- Amici Higher Education Institutions’ Opposition of Motion to Strike (March 20, 2020)
- 118 Colleges and Universities File “Friend of Court” Brief to Protest Potential Rollback of Optional Practical Training (November 25, 2019)
- OPT Higher Education Institution Amicus Brief (November 21, 2019)
- List of Institutional Amici (November 25, 2019)
- Communications Toolkit (November 22, 2019)