An alliance of U.S. technical workers has petitioned the U.S. Supreme Court to find the OPT and STEM OPT programs invalid.
Since 2014, WashTech has been challenging the validity of OPT and STEM OPT through litigation. The alliance’s major concern is the allegation that the programs harm U.S. workers. Questions about the validity of these programs seemed to end in October 2022, when the U.S. Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit held the programs were valid. That was not the end of the uncertainty. In May 2023, WashTech sought certiorari in the U.S. Supreme Court. A number of amicus briefs have been filed in support of WashTech, including one from several Republican Senators – headed on the brief by Senator Ted Cruz of Texas.
Senator Cruz argues that the Obama-era expansion of OPT is contrary to the limits in the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA) on temporary employment visas, that F-1 visas are valid only for individuals who are bona fide students, and that the ruling below actually undermines other provisions of the INA regarding maintenance of status.
STEM industries continue to struggle to find enough highly skilled workers to fill positions. Recognizing the importance of STEM to the U.S. economy, the Biden administration has made policy changes to expand opportunities for STEM graduates.
Jackson Lewis attorneys will provide updates as they become available.