USA: Lawsuit Against USCIS on H-2B Petitions Drags On

Posted on: 06 Jul 2019  |   Tags: US H-2B visa ,

USA: Lawsuit Against USCIS on H-2B Petitions Drags On

Joaquin V.E. Manibusa Jr, a Magistrate Judge in the US, has made recommendations to the US District Court of Guam to grant a Motion for Contempt and order sanctions against the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) regarding a case in which businesses in Guam brought, filing petitions for the H-2B visa. H-2B petitions clearly cover jobs which do not require the expertise of a college graduate, but these petitions include implications for H-1B visas for foreign nationals who are high-skilled.

A senior partner at the Joseph Law Firm, P.C. Jeff Joseph, who is also the plaintiff's lead attorney, revealed that the case has been in court since 2016 and that from all indications, it might still be on for some time.

USCIS disregarded the court order to stop denying cases

For this reason, according to Joseph, they requested the court to stop the USCIS from continuing to deny cases of this nature on the exclusive grounds of temporary need. The court granted the request. The USCIS ignored the clear court order and went ahead to deny the cases just as before. For this reason, the Joseph Law Firm P.C. filed a Motion of Contempt against the USCIS and included sanctions in the case.

The lawsuit was prompted by the alarming rate of H-2B petitions which began years ago. Guam's remote location makes it difficult for its businesses in the healthcare, construction, and hospitality industry to find skilled labor. According to Joseph, in some years past, there was up to 100% approval rate for as many as 3,000 workers.

The USCIS however, took a u-turn in 2012 when it started denying H-2B visa applications coming to Guam. Since then, the approval rate dropped from 100% to 0%.

The USCIS, according to Joseph, was not comfortable with the reliance of employers in Guam on H-2B visa holders as a part of their permanent workforce. This made the jobs lose their description as temporary roles.

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