In a significant victory for immigrants working in the US under H4 EAD visas, the US Supreme Court has rejected a petition from SaveJobs USA. This decision is particularly significant because the H4 EAD program was created in response to a severe backlog in the issuance of green cards, a backlog that has far-reaching consequences for employment-based immigrants and their families.
“Immigration Voice is delighted to have intervened in this lawsuit to defend and save H4 EAD program in the court during a very difficult time. We are extremely grateful to our members, Sudarshana Sengupta and Anuj Dhamija – the plaintiffs to intervene in the lawsuit, who put themselves out there, going above and beyond for the well-being of hundreds of thousands of high-skilled immigrant families in the United States” said Aman Kapoor of Immigration voice, a party in defending the H4EAD program.
The H4 EAD program was instituted during President Obama’s second term in 2015 through an executive order. It was established as a compassionate response to the plight of many H4 visa holders who had been approved for green cards but found themselves languishing in decades-long waiting lists. This backlog was largely a result of the country’s complex 7% quota that has been called as discriminatory by US politicians. As a result, the spouses of these H1B visa holders were unable to legally work and contribute to the US economy.
However, the creation of the H4 EAD program was met with resistance and opposition, particularly from some US tech workers and organizations like SaveJobs USA. Their objections were rooted in concerns over job displacement and the perceived impact on American workers. This opposition helped fuel xenophobia and stirred up negative sentiments around the H4 EAD program, unfairly casting immigrants and their spouses as scapegoats for broader employment-related issues.
Since its inception, it has faced sustained opposition from right-wing extremists who have repeatedly questioned the legality of the executive order, which granted employment authorization to the spouses of H1B visa holders already approved for green cards but awaiting their turn in lengthy queues.
“We are pleased that the Supreme Court denied the unusual request by Save Jobs USA toskip the court of appeals and believe the district court’s well-reasoned decision upholding the H4 EAD rule will be affirmed by the court of appeals” said, Attorney Carl Goldfarb of Boies Schiller Flexner, LLP who defended the lawsuit from Appellate court all the way to the Supreme Court.
Remarkably, over 90% of the H4 EAD beneficiaries in the United States are women. Immigration Voice played a pivotal role in initially collaborating with the Obama administration to establish the EAD program and subsequently fought it in US courts to ensure that the program survives.
“The outcome of the H4 EAD lawsuit is a win for America. H4 EAD program helps hundreds and thousands of immigrants, primarily immigrant women, who have utilized this program in the past, and hundreds and thousands more who will continue to utilize this program in the coming years to come, to provide for their families. The courts have made a right decision and H4 EAD program makes the system just and fair,” added Aman Kapoor.
This development in the Supreme Court is a significant milestone in the ongoing debate over immigration policies and underscores the resilience of advocacy groups that have worked tirelessly to uphold the rights of immigrants and their families in the United States.
Rohit Sharma is a Senior Journalist who has lived in Washington DC since 2007. He currently is a contributor to Dainik Bhaskar, the world's third largest newspaper by readership. His opinion pieces feature on News 9 and The Quint. He has been invited as guest on the BBC, NDTV, India Today, AajTak, Times Now, Republic, Zee news and others. His work has featured in six Indian Languages.