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Tech Giants Back Legal Challenge to Trump’s Foreign Worker Restrictions

Reuters reports that U.S. tech firms including Amazon and Facebook filed an amicus brief yesterday backing a challenge to President Trump’s temporary ban on the entry of certain foreign workers. In the brief, filed in a lawsuit brought in California by major U.S. business associations, the companies argued the visa restrictions would hurt American businesses, lead employers to hire workers outside the United States, and further damage the struggling U.S. economy.

Trump ordered the federal government not to count undocumented immigrants in the census.

Trump directed the federal government not to count undocumented immigrants in the census when allocating districts in the House of Representatives. This directive would exclude millions of people and is in conflict with the normal interpretation of the census in the Constitution. The effect of this move would very likely shift several seats from Democratic states to Republican states. However, since the citizenship question was never included on the census, it is unclear how this move would be carried out.

Immigration judges have sued the Trump administration over a rule barring them from speaking publicly.

In January 2020, immigration judges received a notice from the Trump administration barring them from speaking publicly or to the press about what happens in their immigration courts. They were also barred from voicing their opinions on what should happen in immigration courts. On July 1, the immigration judges’ union filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, arguing that the order violates their constitutional rights under the First Amendment.

Diversity Visa Winners File Complaint Arguing the Trump Administration Unlawfully Suspended the DV-2020 Program]

A group of 226 Diversity Visa program selectees and their families from over 65 countries filed a complaint in district court arguing that the Trump administration has suspended the DV-2020 program through policies, procedures, and practices that are contrary to the INA and federal regulations governing the program.

The Trump administration has extended visa restrictions to nonimmigrant visas.

On June 22, President Trump signed an executive order enacting a temporary ban on many types of nonimmigrant visas. The ban prohibits the issuance of new visas to applicants of H-1B visas, H-2B visas for non agricultural seasonal workers, J-1 visas, and L-1 visas. There will be exemptions for food processing workers as well as some healthcare workers. The new restrictions took effect on June 24.

USCIS released a statement clarifying that immigrants with existing H-1B visas will not be affected by the recent ban.

On June 23, USCIS released a statement clarifying the impact of the newly released ban on new H-1B visas and other types of nonimmigrant visas. The restrictions do not affect those working in the U.S. on a valid H-1B or similar visa. Valid visa holders who are currently abroad will not be prevented from entering or reentering the U.S.

The Trump administration is expected to broaden foreign worker bans.

The Trump administration has been looking into expanded foreign worker bans ostensibly in response to the COVID-19 pandemic. The expected change would expand an existing executive order to include more categories of barred foreign workers. The Trump administration is also considering limiting the number of people who come to the U.S on cultural exchanges, such as with summer camps and resorts. It is also looking into lowering the number of visas for specialty occupations and certain categories of seasonal workers. In response to this possibility, some Republican senators have urged President Trump not to restrict visas for seasonal workers because of their importance in many industries. Any new or existing executive orders related to immigration are expected to be extended on a 30 or 60-day basis.

Trump has restricted some Chinese students from coming to the U.S.

On May 29, President Trump issued a presidential proclamation limiting the issuance of visas to some graduate students from China. The proclamation bars the entry of or issuance of visas to Chinese students in F or J status in graduate level programs, or who are involved in the “strategy” to divert technology to the Chinese military. The proclamation also calls on the State Department to consider revoking visas. There are currently 84,480 Chinese students in graduate-level science and engineering programs in the U.S.

In a dissenting opinion, Justice Sotomayor said the Supreme Court has a bias towards the Trump administration.

On February 21, Justice Sonia Sotomayor issued a dissenting opinion to a Supreme Court ruling allowing the Trump administration’s new public charge rule to take effect in Illinois, despite an existing injunction in that state. In her opinion, she wrote that the Supreme Court was “all too quick to grant the Government’s ‘reflexiv[e]’ requests” and that the “disparity in treatment erodes the fair and balanced decisionmaking process.”

A Texas federal court blocked defense funding for the border wall.

Judge Briones in El Paso, Texas issued a nationwide preliminary injunction against the president’s use of $3.6 billion in military construction funding for the border wall. The president’s proclamation that allowed the use of those funds violated congressional restrictions that limited border wall funding to $1.375 billion. This $3.6 billion was separate from the $2.5 billion in drug interdiction funding. The Supreme Court lifted the injunction against the $2.5 billion in July, meaning that the Trump administration can use those funds while litigation proceeds.

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