US Supreme Court Justices Refuse Challenge To H-1B Spouses’ Work Permits (H-4 EADs)

The U.S. Supreme Court rejected a lawsuit from tech workers who said a policy from when Barack Obama was President, allowing some highly skilled foreign workers’ spouses to work, was not approved by Congress. This is good news for many H-4 spouses. This decision means that the previous ruling by a judge in Washington, D.C., stays in place. That judge said the workers’ concerns that they were losing jobs to foreign workers because the H-4 visa rule was not valid. This rule allows spouses of H-1B visa holders who are applying for green cards to work in the U.S. The case is known as Save Jobs USA v. Department of Homeland Security, case number 23-22, in the Supreme Court of the United States.

The workers, who used to work for a company called Southern California Edison and now belong to a group called Save Jobs USA, started their lawsuit in 2015 after the Obama administration made the rule. They argued that the rule was taking away job opportunities from them and that the Department of Homeland Security didn’t have the power to make such a rule. They argued that Congress never said that noncitizens with H-4 visas could work in the U.S. but the judge in Washington, D.C, Tanya Chutkan, said the rule just allowed spouses to start working sooner. and it wouldn’t lead to “new” workers. She also said Congress gave the Department of Homeland Security the power to decide how long visa holders could stay in the U.S. and what their spouses could do here.

Save Jobs USA tried to get the D.C. Circuit to change the judge’s decision in April and then went directly to the Supreme Court in July, asking the justices to consider their case even before the lower court made a final decision. They said the Department of Homeland Security was using its power to make rules that it wasn’t supposed to, and they pointed out that over the past ten years, there have been five rules allowing noncitizens to work in the U.S.

They also said that, on average, about 1.946 million new jobs were created each year from 2013 to 2022, and Noncitizens with work permission made up 18% of those jobs. Save Jobs USA was represented by John Michael Miano. The government was represented by Elizabeth Prelogar from the U.S. Department of Justice.

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