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Beverly Hills, California, United States
Eli Kantor is a labor, employment and immigration law attorney. He has been practicing labor, employment and immigration law for more than 36 years. He has been featured in articles about labor, employment and immigration law in the L.A. Times, Business Week.com and Daily Variety. He is a regular columnist for the Daily Journal. Telephone (310)274-8216; eli@elikantorlaw.com. For more information, visit beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com and and beverlyhillsemploymentlaw.com


Wednesday, July 03, 2024

SCOTUS ruling shifts H-1B visa landscape

The H-1B visa program could face more legal challenges from employers disputing denials, following a recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling that restricts federal power and increases pressure on Congress to reform the program. After he took office in 2017, then-President Donald Trump's decision to crack down on the H-1B visa program resulted in 1 in 5 visa denials, representing a dramatic increase. This rise in denials was largely due to federal agencies' broad powers to interpret regulations, which stems from a 1984 ruling known as the Chevron v. Natural Resources Defense Council decision. However, in a recent 6-3 ruling, the Supreme Court has overturned Chevron, a decision that could change federal agencies' broad authority to interpret and set regulations. This landmark decision has significant implications for immigration policy, particularly the H-1B visa program. With this ruling, courts are no longer obligated to defer to interpretations of the law by federal agencies -- including U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services, which administers the H-1B program. The Chevron case gave judicial deference to federal agencies in their interpretation of unclear laws. Carl Shusterman, a Los Angeles-based immigration attorney, said the recent decision to overturn Chevron is "a big positive" for immigration because federal agencies write restrictive regulations that don't comply with the law. He added, "It'll just make it a lot easier to challenge these immigration denials," although he also remains critical of the Supreme Court's decision for its potential impact on areas such as environmental rules. While the Chevron decision could make it harder for future administrations to unilaterally tighten H-1B visa regulations, it also introduces new complexities into the immigration system. As courts take on a more significant role in interpreting immigration laws, the operation of the H-1B visa program could see more challenges, especially regarding individual denials. A challenge to H-1B visa regs The U.S. government issues 85,000 new H-1B visas annually through a lottery program. While the Chevron decision doesn't restrict the ability of agencies to issue regulations, it changes how these regulations can be challenged. It is really hard to say whether this is a positive or negative. Sharvari Dalal-Dheini Director of government relations, American Immigration Lawyers Association Sharvari Dalal-Dheini, director of government relations at the American Immigration Lawyers Association, said that when there is a challenge, the interpretation of the law will be left up to the courts. "It is really hard to say whether this is a positive or negative," Dalal-Dheini said of the Chevron decision. It's a positive for employers that are challenging individual denials, but it's a negative if the White House wants to improve the program. "Their ability to improve their program will be under much higher scrutiny," she added. The Chevron decision will put more pressure on the White House to seek new laws in Congress. Agencies will no longer be able to interpret the law as time passes and immigration reforms are needed, Dalal-Dheini said. The people who will benefit the most from the Chevron decision are those who bring specific claims over denials, she said. One area that could see legal challenges is around specialty occupation denials, which require employers to prove the direct relevance of a college degree to a job. The problem is that hundreds of courts might be making decisions on these rules, meaning interpretation can vary, Dalal-Dheini said. For more information, visit us at https://www.beverlyhillsimmigrationlaw.com/.

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