The American Immigration Lawyers Association (AILA) has filed a class-action lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) for extraordinary delays in processing the Employee Authorization Documents (EADs). H4 EAD and L2 EAD are two popular choices to work in U.S. whose spouses in the U.S. on H-1B and L1 visas; a significant number of them are Indian technology professionals, especially those on H4 EAD.
The AILA filed the lawsuit along with Wasden Banias. Jennifer Minear, President of the American Immigration Lawyers Association, was quoted, saying, “The delays that H-4 and L-2 non-immigrants are facing place families in financial limbo. ”
She added that the DHS was legally entitled to grant work authorization to impacted individuals whose financial security was hanging in the balance.
She demanded the DHS revoke unnecessary biometric requirements for H-4 and L-2 non-immigrants, provide automatic work authorization as it processes EAD renewal requests for I485 Green Card based petitions.
She also demanded to allow EAD applicants to file their renewal applications sooner than 180 days before expiration to prevent gaps in work authorization.
AILA Director of Federal Litigation, Jesse Bless, said that in 2019, Trump’s administration implemented a new biometric requirement for L-2 and other dependents looking to extend their stay in the U.S. This additional requirement, along with the COVID-19 restrictions, has exacerbated the already extraordinary processing delays. Bless further added that the process of obtaining work authorization should not put families at the risk of income loss and instability.
“There are reasonable and immediate steps that the DHS can take to make certain that visa holders meet requirements without imposing needless suffering. We hope to work with the US government on immediate solutions to get these individuals back to work.” Bless said.