Indians File Lawsuits Against H1-B Entry Ban – Here Is What To Expect

In response to the Executive Order barring new green applicants and the proclamation banning non-immigrant visa holders including H, L and J visas and their dependents from the US, 174 Indian nationals including some minors who are on H4 dependent visas have filed a lawsuit in the US District Courts of Columbia. They seek to declare these entry bans unlawful and not in keeping with the immigration rules specified by the Congress.

The lawsuit challenges the premise of these entry bans stating that non-immigrants on H, L, J visas and their dependents are not a threat to the US workforces and are given these work visas rightfully keeping in mind the balance of the US workforces as mandated by the US Congress. The entry bans were instituted to protect the jobs of the unemployed. Unemployment had been steadily increasing since Coronavirus was declared a pandemic in March 2020. 

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This lawsuit claims that many of the people impacted by the ban are dependents, including minors on H4 visas who are not allowed to work in the US and therefore, not a threat to the American job market. It further states that many of the H1-B visa holders and their dependents were out of the country when Covid struck. The consequent border closures, lockdowns and travel bans resulted on these beneficiaries being stranded outside the US. Being punished for not having flights or due to shelter-in-place norms is unlawful and unjust.

More lawsuits are expected to follow suit in the next couple of days. Several industry groups including prominent tech firms supported by the American Immigration Lawyers Association are preparing to file additional lawsuits to counter these and request a restraining order against these entry bans.

Do the H1-Bs and H4s Have Hope Against President Trump’s Entry Bans?

While Section212(f) of the US Immigration & Nationality Act grants the US President the right to ban entry of certain foreign nationals into the US, suspend immigration and take restrictive measures in the face of a pandemic, the lawsuits have hope from the few historic wins such lawsuits have received in the recent past.

Harvard, and MIT along with 17 States filed a lawsuit against allowing international student on F1 visas from taking online classes and won! The ruling was withdrawn by ICE within 8 days.

Recently the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of DACA and allowed the Dreamers to remain in the country and continue working as permanent residents.

Several lawsuits against the Executive order barring foreign nationals outside the US seeking permanent residency in the US have been currently filed and pending in the courts.

It is worth waiting and watching to see how these court cases will turn out and if the US district courts will either overturn these entry bans or put a temporary stay order on them. Stay tuned to this space as Path2USA keeps its ears to the ground for the latest updates.

If you would like to consult an immigration lawyer about your immigration visa or green card, you can get reliable answers at Lawbench.