The D.C. Circuit reversed the dismissal of a case challenging whether or not the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) was authorized to create the Optional Practical Training program (OPT) and remanded the case back to the D.C. District Court last Friday. The court ruled against the agency's argument that the Immigration Reform Law Institute (IRLI), suing on behalf of American workers harmed by OPT, did not have standing to bring the suit. The court ruled that American workers do not have to prove they were rejected, after applying for a specific job that was later filled bya foreign national with OPT status.
OPT allows foreign students who graduate, particularly those with degrees in science, technology, engineering, and/or mathematics (STEM), to stay and work in the United States for up to 36 months after graduation and compete with American workers.
Though the D.C. Circuit ruled that American workers have the right to challenge actions taken by the agency that cause more competition within the labormarket, it neglected to make a decision regarding whether DHS had authority to create the OPT program. The appeal decided to delay litigation by 14 months despite being extended already for more than a decade.
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