The American Immigration Council (Council) and the American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) have teamed up on a lawsuit against the U.S. Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS). The suits is requesting information about the government’s administration of the H-1B lottery.
USCIS typically receives more applications than H-1B numbers available, so it conducts a lottery from the cases that it receives in the first 5 days of filing. CIS selects a number of petitions to be processed - taking into account that some of these will be denied, withdrawn, or otherwise rejected.
USCIS has never been open in describing the selection process. Attorneys, employers and H-1B applicants will be watching this case closely, hoping to get answers.
Despite the Obama Administration’s public commitment to the values of transparency and accountability, frankly, our attempts to see into this process have been resisted...Instead of responding to our requests for information about how the lottery is conducted, how cap-subject petitions are processed, and how the numbers are estimated and tracked, USCIS has kept the process entirely opaque. This litigation is intended to shine a necessary light on an important process in America’s business immigration system.”
Elaine Martin has been practising US and global immigration law since 1997. She is an immigrant herself (from Ireland), so has a special understanding of the legal and emotional challenges involved in relocating to a new country.