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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

Federal judge blocks Biden's vaccine mandate for federal workers

President Biden speaking from Eisenhower Executive Office Building on Jan. 21. Photo: Yuri Gripas/Abaca/Bloomberg via Getty Images

A federal judge in Texas blocked the Biden administration from enforcing its coronavirus vaccine mandate for federal workers on Friday, citing the outcome of last week's Supreme Court ruling that nullified the administration's vaccine-or-test requirement for large employers.

Why it matters: It's a blow to President Biden's efforts to increase the U.S.' vaccination rates, though much of the federal workforce has already been vaccinated against the virus.

Updated 4 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Omicron dashboard

Illustration: Brendan Lynch/Axios

  1. Health: Pfizer and Moderna boosters overwhelmingly prevent Omicron hospitalizations, CDC finds — Omicron pushes COVID deaths toward 2,000 per day — The pandemic-proof health care giant.
  2. Vaccines: The case for Operation Warp Speed 2.0 — Starbucks drops worker vaccine or test requirement after SCOTUS ruling — Kids' COVID vaccination rates are particularly low in rural America.
  3. Politics: Biden concedes U.S. should have done more testing — Arizona says it "will not be intimidated" by Biden on anti-mask school policies.
  4. World: American Airlines flight to London forced to turn around over mask dispute — WHO: COVID health emergency could end this year — Greece imposes vaccine mandate for people 60 and older — Austria approves COVID vaccine mandate for adults.
  5. Variant tracker
Updated 5 hours ago - Economy & Business

Janet Yellen co-opts Reaganomics phrase for new Davos speech

Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen at a speech this week. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

The U.S. needs to focus on increasing its productive potential, Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen told world leaders Friday, calling for what she terms "modern supply side economics."

Why it matters: She co-opted a phrase traditionally used by political conservatives to describe low-tax and deregulatory policies — and framed the Biden administration's initiatives as the best path forward to achieve greater national prosperity.

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