Recent Judicial Developments bring Good News for Foreign Nationals
Federal Court Upholds Block on Trump Travel Ban
The 4th US Circuit Court of Appeals has ruled that President Trump’s Executive Order restricting travel to the US from 6 predominantly Muslim countries to be unconstitutional. The travel ban was announced in the early days of the new administration and was blocked by federal courts within days of going into effect. The travel ban will not be implemented while the nationwide injunction remains valid and travelers from Iran, Libya, Somalia, Sudan, Syria, and Yemen may continue to travel to the US per normal policies and procedures.
Lawsuit over Expanded OPT Dismissed
A lawsuit brought by a union representing technology workers challenging the 24-month extension of work authorization for foreign students has been dismissed. Immigration regulations allow F-1 students with a degree in a STEM field to obtain 24 months of Optional Practical Training (OPT) work authorization, apart from the 12 months of work authorization they are entitled to after graduation. The decision means F-1 students in STEM-related studies will continue to get a total of three years of OPT.
A similar lawsuit arguing that Employment Authorization Documents (EADs) for H-4 visa holders hurts American workers is still pending.
As it was filed under a similar premise to the STEM OPT lawsuit, there is optimism that it too could be dismissed for failure to allege a plausible claim for relief.