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Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo

Three IT companies filed a lawsuit on Tuesday, which called for an injunction on U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Service's (USCIS) recent policy changes that increased scrutiny for H-1B employers who send their workers to third-party worksites, claiming USCIS overstepped its authority.

Big picture: This comes as the Trump administration seeks ways to cut back on H-1B visas, and has called for increased scrutiny of certain H-1B employers. It also comes as the Trump administration continues to face litigation — and often injunctions — on many of their immigration policies.

The issue: The new regulations allowed USCIS to demand additional detailed documents from employers who sent H-1B workers to third party work sites — including itineraries.

  • Jonathan Wasden, the lead lawyer who has formerly worked at USCIS's Administrative Appeals Office and the Justice Department, told Axios that many contracting companies would not be able comply with the new regulations because of how they operate leaving them unable to receive and provide needed talent.

The argument: Both USCIS and the Department of Labor (DOL) share responsibility for the H-1B program, and DOL has been in charge of deciding what kind of employers qualify for H-1B visas. The lawsuit claims that USCIS's new rules contradict DOL's rules, and overstep USCIS's role in the H-1B program.

  • Wasden is confident about their case, saying that if he were on the government's side, he'd "have a very hard time defending this with a straight face," saying that "it’s clear DOL is delegated authority to define these key terms."

Go deeper

Cyber war scales up with new Microsoft hack

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Last week's revelation of a new cyberattack on thousands of small businesses and organizations, on top of last year's SolarWinds hack, shows we've entered a new era of mass-scale cyber war.

Why it matters: In a world that's dependent on interlocking digital systems, there's no escaping today's cyber conflicts. We're all potential victims even if we're not participants.

Miriam Kramer, author of Space
29 mins ago - Science

Spaceflight contests and our future in orbit

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Wealthy private citizens are increasingly becoming the arbiters of who can go to space — and some of them want to bring the average person along for the ride.

Why it matters: Space is being opened up to people who wouldn't have had the prospect of flying there even five years ago, but these types of missions have far-reaching implications for who determines who gets to make use of space and for what.

1 hour ago - Health

Axios-Ipsos poll: America looks for the exits after a year of COVID

Data: Axios/Ipsos poll; Chart: Danielle Alberti/Axios

A year after the coronavirus abruptly shut down much of the country, Americans are watching for a clear signal of when the pandemic will be over — and most won't be ready to ditch the masks and social distancing until they get it, according to the latest installment of the Axios/Ipsos Coronavirus Index.

The big picture: The poll found that more Americans are expecting the outbreak to be over sooner rather than later, as vaccinations ramp up throughout the country — but that very few are ready to end the precautions that have upended their lives.

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