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H-1B: Stanford University, Bay Area Council sue Trump administration over new visa rules

Suit claims changes will ‘restrict, if not outright eliminate’ H-1B program

The Bay Area Council, Stanford University and a host of educational and business groups are suing the administration of President Donald Trump over new rules for the controversial H-1B visa program relied on by many Silicon Valley technology companies.

The administration earlier this month imposed additional regulations on the program, which is intended for skilled workers. Among the changes are a new one-year limit on placement of workers at third-party firms, more-restrictive definitions of what jobs and employment relationships qualify for the visa, and increased minimum pay.

In announcing its participation in the lawsuit filed Monday, the council, a business-funded public-policy group, claimed the new rules “effectively gut” the program, which would have a significant effect on the tech industry. Google, Apple and Facebook last year together received approvals for more than 5,500 new H-1B workers, according to federal government data.

“Shutting down our pipeline of high-skilled foreign workers will be a disaster for our economy and for our post-COVID recovery,” said Sean Randolph, senior director of the council’s Economic Institute. “The Bay Area, and America, must continue to be a place where anyone around the world can come to pursue their dream or dream job. This proposal from the Trump Administration effectively ends that option.” Stanford did not respond to questions about its participation in the lawsuit.

Other plaintiffs include the California Institute of Technology, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, the National Association of Manufacturers and other groups and universities. The suit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Labor claims the new visa rules were designed to “substantially restrict, if not outright eliminate” the H-1B visa, force hundreds of thousands of foreign workers out of the country because they can’t renew visas, and “virtually foreclose the hiring of new individuals via the H-1B program.” Read more via SiliconValley

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