A new class of plaintiffs claim President Donald Trump’s June 22 proclamation suspending U.S. entry by certain classes of visa holders is an attempt to “unilaterally rewrite the federal immigration laws” and exceeds the scope of his statutory authority.
Their revised complaint, filed Friday at the U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., challenges the entirety of Trump’s proclamation. The president’s action extended a previous order barring entry to the U.S. for green card applicants. It also expanded the earlier order to include H-1B and H-4 visas, which are used by workers in specialty occupations and their families, as well as L visas for intracompany transfers and most J visas for work- and study-abroad programs.
Attorneys bringing the case say the breadth of the complaint makes it the first of its kind. They’ve sued on behalf of more than 20 individuals and businesses.
The administration said the order was necessary to protect U.S. jobs for U.S. workers during the economic downturn. But plaintiffs in the case claim that logic is flawed, and that Congress has already rejected the premise that competition for jobs in the U.S. is a “zero sum game” by maintaining and expanding the immigration system even in the face of prior economic downturns.
Trump is a named defendant in the lawsuit, as are U.S. Attorney General William Barr, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and the U.S. departments of State and Homeland Security.
First filed in May, the case was brought in response to an April proclamation that froze green card applications. The amended complaint adds plaintiffs affected by the June proclamation, including employers in essential industries such as shipping and transportation; foreign medical graduates with residencies at hospitals treating Covid-19 patients; diversity visa lottery winners; and guest workers separated from their families and jobs.
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