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Experts: Will the AAO Resist Trump on Erroneous H-1B Denials?

October 18, 2019 (1 min read)

Sinduja Rangarajan, Mother Jones, Oct. 17, 2019

"Since 2017, as part of its efforts to “hire American,” the Trump administration has been aggressively denying applications for H-1B visas. Yet a record number of those denials have been overturned on appeal, suggesting that the administration has been wrongfully rejecting qualified applicants for these coveted visas for high-skilled immigrants. ... Legal scholars wonder how long the appeals office will continue to side with H-1B applicants. “It’ll be interesting to see, if the [appeals office] has been serving as a check, how the administration will react to that,” says Jill Family, a law professor at Widener University who focuses on immigration law. Employers who don’t agree with the H-1B rejections don’t have to file appeals with the USCIS. They can also challenge the agency’s decisions in federal court, and experts say more are doing so than in the past. “It’s hard to say if this is a one-year flip in the data or an actual trend,” says Stephen Yale-Loehr, a professor of immigration at Cornell University. “It remains to be seen whether that continues or whether the [appeals office] also starts to toe the administration line and goes back up to the 90 percent level of agreeing with the initial denials.” "