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Federal Judge Halts Trump's H-1B Visa Rules

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H-1B visa and an American flag, illustration

Credit: Dataquest

A federal judge on Tuesday (Dec. 1) struck down two Trump administration rules issued in October meant to restrict H-1B visas for highly skilled foreign workers. U.S. District Judge Jeffrey White said the administration failed to show "good cause" for issuing the rules on an emergency basis.

The technology industry relies heavily on H-1B visas. About three-quarters of 85,000 allotted H-1B visas each year go to people who work in tech.

The Trump administration had argued that the rules needed to be issued quickly because of unemployment spurred by the coronavirus pandemic. One rule raised the minimum salaries employers were required to pay H-1B workers. The other rule would've required foreign workers to have a degree in the "specialty occupation" they apply for.

"This ruling has many companies across various industries breathing a huge sigh of relief today," Jon Baselice, executive director of immigration policy at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in an emailed statement. "Both of these rules had the potential to be incredibly disruptive to the operations of many businesses."

The Trump administration could appeal the ruling.

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