Lawsuit Seeks Transparency in H-1B Visa Lottery Program

Two top American immigration-related advocacy groups have filed a lawsuit against the federal government seeking transparency into the lottery process of H-1B work visas, the most sought after for IT professionals, particularly those from India.

The lawsuit has been filed by the American Immigration Council and American Immigration Lawyers Association against the Department of Homeland Security and U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services seeking information about the government’s administration of the H-1B lottery.

The two advocacy group alleged that USCIS has never been forthcoming in describing the selection process, a statement said. “When petitions are submitted to USCIS in April, it’s as if they disappear into a ‘black box’,” said Melissa Crow, legal director of the American Immigration Council.

“This suit is intended to pry open that box and let the American public and those most directly affected see how the lottery system works from start to finish, and to learn whether the system is operating fairly and all the numbers are being used as the law provides,” Crow said.

“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,” said AILA executive director Benjamin Johnson.

“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,” he alleged.

“This litigation is intended to shine a necessary light on an important process in America’s business immigration system,” Johnson said.

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