A federal judge has ended a Trump administration regulation designed to make it difficult for international students to gain H-1B status. The ruling is the latest judicial decision to stop a Trump administration H-1B rule, leaving in tatters the legacy pursued by Trump aide Stephen Miller and others.
Between 2017 and 2021, Trump administration officials increased H-1B denial rates by issuing memos and policies that judges determined to be unlawful. Once those policies ended, H-1B denial rates returned to pre-Trump levels, according to a National Foundation for American Policy analysis. Today, the most significant H-1B restriction is the same one in place before Donald Trump took office—the 85,000 annual limit on new H-1B petitions for companies.
The History of the Trump H-1B Rules: In the final months of the Trump administration, officials attempted to cement the president’s anti-immigration policies through three H-1B visa rules—all of which judges have now vacated (i.e., set aside). The first two were interim final rules from the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and the Department of Labor (DOL). Employers said the DHS rule would have made it virtually impossible for many foreign-born scientists and engineers to qualify for H-1B status. The DOL rule inflated the required minimum salaries for H-1B visa holders and employment-based immigrants well beyond the market wage paid to U.S. workers with similar experience.
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