U.S. District Judge Tanya S. Chutkan dismissed a challenge to a DHS rule allowing the spouses of H-1B guest workers to get work permits. Save Jobs USA, a group of former Southern California Edison tech workers, alleged the rule would create more job competition for those already facing substantial H-1B competition but the judge said the plaintiff failed to prove H-4 visa holders would displace Save Jobs USA workers.
Save Jobs USA sued in April 2015 to enjoin the DHS rule but Judge Chutkan, an Obama appointee, found that the plaintiff did not demonstrate the rule would harm its members. In declining the injunction request she wrote, "There is no indication, and Save Jobs has not provided any evidence, that it is certain that H-4 visa holders will apply for IT jobs and compete with Save Jobs members. Save Jobs is correct that this could happen, and eventually it may in fact happen. But at this stage, it is entirely speculative whether any H-4 visa holders will ever apply for IT jobs at SCE, IT jobs in California, or IT jobs at all."
Chutkan used the same logic in her Sept. 27 decision dismissing the lawsuit. "Here, there is simply no evidence that the H-4 Rule was targeted at the tech field, or that even one H-4 visa holder has sought or will seek a tech job in competition with plaintiff's members…Plaintiff's argument, without evidence, is bare speculation, and the injury it contemplates is insufficient to establish standing…While plaintiff's members allege past injury from being replaced by H-1B visa holders at their previous employment, the source of that injury is unrelated to the H-4 Rule."
The judge also addressed plaintiff’s claim that DHS exceeded its authority in issuing the rule. "[I]n light of the broad delegation of authority Congress conferred to DHS to set rules regarding employment authorization and its thorough consideration of the relevant factors in its decision-making, the court would likely conclude that DHS's interpretation of its authority under [federal law] is not unreasonable, and the H-4 Rule is a valid exercise of this rulemaking authority."
Save Jobs USA announced that it intends to appeal the ruling.
Read more in India West.
Updated: Thu, Jun 8th 2017 @ 3:27pm EDT