‘Trump Exceeded Authority’: US Judge Blocks H-1B Visa Ban

The judge observed that the Constitution gives the Congress, not the President, the power to set immigration policy.

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H-1B visa ban issued by US President Donald Trump in June 2020, was blocked by a federal judge in the United States, Thursday, 1 October.
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H-1B visa ban issued by US President Donald Trump in June 2020 was blocked by a federal judge in the United States, on Thursday, 1 October, reported news agency PTI.

The federal judge reportedly said that the president had exceeded his constitutional authority.

According to PTI, companies represented by National Association of Manufacturers, US Chamber of Commerce, National Retail Federation and TechNet had filed a lawsuit against the department of commerce and department of homeland security.

The National Association of manufacturers, according to the report, said that court order, by District Judge Jeffrey White of Northern District of California, puts an immediate hold on “a series of visa restrictions that prevent manufacturers from filling crucial, hard-to-fill jobs to support economic recovery, growth and innovation when most needed.”

WHAT DID THE JUDGE SAY?

According to PTI, District Judge Jeffrey White said the president exceeded his authority in issuing the ban.

“Congress’s delegation of authority in the immigration context…does not afford the president unbridled authority to set domestic policy regarding employment of nonimmigrant foreigners. Such a finding would render the president’s Article II powers all but superfluous.”   

The report added that the judge observed, in a 25-page order, that the American Constitution gives the Congress, not the President, the power to set immigration policy.

PTI also reported that Judge White’s ruling is different from an order passed by District Judge Amit Mehta of the District of Columbia in August. Judge Mehta had reportedly said, in his order, that he does not has the power to enjoin the ban while the litigation is under way.

BACKGROUND

The Trump administration had in June suspended H-1B visas along with other foreign works visas until the end of 2020.

Subsequently in August, Trump had signed a new executive order that prevents federal agencies from hiring or sub-contracting foreigners, predominantly on an H-1B visa.

This move came as a huge blow to Indian IT professionals who mostly travel to work in the US on the H-1B visa, which allows US companies to employ foreign workers in occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise.

According to PTI, Trump had argued, that amid the COVID-19 pandemic and the job losses induced by the same, the US needed to save and protect its jobs for its own domestic work-force.

(With PTI inputs.)

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