USCIS’ Unlawful Denial of H-1B Petitions Spurs Class Action Lawsuit

USCIS’ Unlawful Denial of H-1B Petitions Spurs Class Action Lawsuit

MadKudu Inc., et al. v. USCIS, et al., Case 5:20-cv-02653 (N.D. Cal. filed April 16, 2020)

STATUS:
Pending

This nationwide class action lawsuit challenges U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ (USCIS) pattern and practice of arbitrarily denying H-1B nonimmigrant employment-based petitions for market research analyst positions filed by United States businesses.  

The complaint alleges that USCIS unlawfully denies H-1B petitions for market research analysts by misinterpreting the term “specific specialty” in the statute and the word “normally” in the first regulatory test.  In applying the first regulatory test, USCIS also misinterprets the Occupational Outlook Handbook—a publication of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Bureau of Labor Statistics that profiles hundreds of occupations in the United States job market—on which USCIS relies.

USCIS denied at least 60 market research analyst H-1B petitions in the last three years and six petitions (including the two plaintiffs’ denials) in the first two months of 2020—all of which used the same erroneous reasoning. Based upon the publicly available administrative decisions, which likely are only a small fraction of the denials, the complaint estimates that at least 40 U.S. businesses had H-1B petitions for market research analysts denied since January 2019, and that there likely would be hundreds more denials on the same basis in the future. 

The lawsuit was filed at the federal district court in the Northern District of California by the American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the law firms Joseph & Hall, P.C., and Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC, and Van Der Hout, LLP. On May 4, 2020, plaintiffs filed a motion to certify the class.

Follow this case:

  • April 16, 2020
    The American Immigration Council, the American Immigration Lawyers Association, and the law firms Van Der Hout, LLP, Joseph & Hall P.C., and Kuck Baxter Immigration LLC filed a nationwide class action lawsuit today challenging U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services’ pattern and practice of arbitrarily denying H-1B nonimmigrant employment-based petitions for market research analysts positions filed by businesses in the United States.

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