MUMBAI: The Trump administration has banked on the fall-out of Covid-19 and the resultant unemployment to affirm its stand that the interim final rules, which make it challenging to H-1B workers needed to be quickly introduced.
As reported by TOI earlier, two sets of rules were issued in early October as interim final rules. Those issued by the Department of Labour (DOL) – hiked significantly wages for H-1B workers and came into effect from October 8. The other set of rules issued by the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), which will come into effect from early December, set out more restrictive eligibility norms for H-1B visa and also curtailed the tenure of the visa to one year, in case of third-party placement of the workers.
This led to several lawsuits being filed in district courts across USA. In the case of the lawsuit filed by The Bay Area Council, Chamber of Commerce of the United States of America, University of Southern California, Stanford University, Cornell University, and several other educational institutions and trade associations, DOL and DHS contended that they did not violate the provisions of the Administrative Procedure Act (APA).
This act requires a step-by-step procedure to be followed, which includes inviting public comments and vetting the same, before the rule is finalised and implemented. This takes several months. According to attorneys in-the-know, the agencies contended before the US district court that the pandemic was a sufficient reason not to give advance notice of the rules.
The plaintiffs in their petition had stated that despite their massive impact, the rules were promulgated without the notice-and-comment rulemaking required by the APA. Because defendants (DOL and DHS) have no ‘good cause’ to dispense with APA’s most fundamental protection for the regulated public, the court should swiftly set these rules aside, they had said. On the other hand, the agencies have called upon the district court to dismiss the claims made by the plaintiffs.
Source From : Times Of India