Brown joins legal brief to block new federal visa rules

BROWN UNIVERSITY is one of 25 colleges that filed Oct. 30 an amicus brief in U.S. District Court in California asking the court to block the federal government from implementing new rules that would restrict H-1B visa eligibility. / COURTESY BROWN UNIVERSITY
BROWN UNIVERSITY is one of 25 colleges that filed Oct. 30 an amicus brief in U.S. District Court in California asking the court to block the federal government from implementing new rules that would restrict H-1B visa eligibility. / COURTESY BROWN UNIVERSITY

PROVIDENCE – Twenty-five colleges, including Brown University, filed an amicus brief in U.S. District Court in California on Oct. 30 asking the court to block the federal government from implementing new rules that would restrict H-1B visa eligibility.

The brief was filed as part of a lawsuit filed by multiple businesses and higher-education institutions, including the University of Southern California and the U.S. Chamber of Commerce against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security and the U.S. Department of Labor. The brief argues that the new visa rules would “irreparably harm” colleges and academic medical centers’ ability to hire foreign workers and restrict who would be eligible for such visas.

Those restrictions, the brief states, would disrupt teaching and research at universities that rely on international workers’ expertise and talents, arguing that they “provide critical contributions to the research that drives our nation’s scientific progress, public health and economic vitality.”

“Among other fields, these workers are performing research on Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, COVID-19, diabetes, heart disease, malaria, vision loss and many others. They also are valuable members of amici’s teaching staff, educating our nation’s students so they can go on to be, themselves, highly skilled and productive members of society,” the brief states.

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The brief also claims that the new rules would also harm foreign workers typically holding H-1B status while awaiting permanent residence in the U.S.

Other colleges that signed onto the brief include Yale University, Boston University, the University of Connecticut, Northeastern University, Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Harvard University. A hearing is scheduled for Nov. 23.

James Bessette is the PBN special projects editor, and also covers the nonprofit and education sectors. You may reach him at Bessette@PBN.com. You may also follow him on Twitter at @James_Bessette.

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