Fate of EAD for H-4 visa holders will be known after 10 days

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NEW YORK: The fate of Employment Authorization Document (EAD) for some H-4 visa holders will be known after April 2nd, 2-17.

It remains to be seen if the Trump administration will defend the rights of some of the spouses of H-1B visa holders to be able to work legally in the United States, or they will succumb to the rhetoric of anti-immigration advocates like Save Jobs USA who filed a lawsuit to revoke the EAD for H-4 visa holders.

Save Jobs USA filed a lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) on April 23, 2015 in the United States District Court for the District of Columbia, with the contention that not only were American workers losing jobs to H-1B visa holders, but to their spouses too, those on H-4 and extended an EAD by the Obama administration in May of 2015.

Save Jobs USA said the DHS should not be able to give EAD to spouses of work visa holders.

The court had then granted summary judgment in favor of the Obama administration, ruling that only a few H-4 visa holders would be eligible to obtain EADs and Save Jobs USA did not establish that its members would be harmed by that.

The court had also stated in its closing statement on Sep. 28, 2016 that Congress was within its rights to delegate authority to the DHS to set rules regarding EADs, and in this case, to eligible H-4 visa holders.

However, Save Jobs USA filed an appeal to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit. The case has been winding its way through the appeals process for the last four months. Save Jobs USA filed its brief discussing the merits of the case on January 11, 2017.

Subsequently, the Trump administration filed a motion to request an extra 60 days to submit their response to the lawsuit. That deadline is coming up on April 2.

As trepidation grew in the H-4 visa community that the Trump administration was out to revoke the EADs given by the Obama administration, a legal immigration advocacy group and non-profit Immigration Voice had filed a motion last month to intervene in the case, on behalf of the H-4 visa holders. That move has been opposed by the Trump administration and Save Jobs USA.

The question now is will the Trump administration do the right, humane thing and not snatch away the EAD from H-4 visa holders who are working, or will they do so, and in the process cause tremendous amount of angst and misery for contributing legal residents in the US.

The Trump administration needs to realize that it would be downright cruel to take away an EAD from a H-4 visa worker. It would jeopardize not only that person’s career but also his or her entire family’s financial future. It would also be emotionally devastating for an H-4 visa holder if an EAD is taken away.

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