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A U.S. federal judge has overturned a law limiting H-1B visas

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A US court has overturned the last two changes to the H-1B visa programme brought in by the administration of US President Donald Trump that would have significantly restricted the ability of US companies to hire foreign workers.

Judge Jeffrey White of the US District Court of Northern California said that the unemployment crisis caused by the Covid-19 pandemic was not ‘good cause’ for the US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and US Department of Labor (DOL) to bypass the administrative requirements needed when issuing the two Interim Final Rules.

The rules had been notified without public comments and notice period, violating the Administrative Procedure Act.

Trump had brought in several changes to the H-1B visa programme during his term, with these rules being introduced a month before the Presidential elections in November. The court ruling means that it is unlikely to be implemented.

“Not only did the courts grant summary judgment – which is a high standard to reach – but the decision by Judge White really notes the lack of rational arguments made by the government, which probably makes the possibility of winning any appeal unlikely,” said Nandini Nair, partner at law firm Greenspoon Marder.

The United States issues 85,000 new H-1B visas each year, of which almost 70% are bagged by Indian nationals.

Under the new rules, the minimum wage levels for H-1B workers were increased by an average of 40%, effectively pricing them out of the market for several high-skill jobs. Further, the DHS had changed the definition of specialty occupation, employee-employer relationship and limited the validity of an H-1B visa for one year, instead of three, for a worker placed at third-party worksites.

It also allowed for increased workplace monitoring to improve compliance. While the wage rule was implemented in October, the DHS rule was to be effective from December.

“This judgement has a very important impact on businesses that were reeling under the huge increases in applicable prevailing wages for H-1B workers. The DoL is expected to soon revert to the old method of determining prevailing wages but the judgement does not specify a timeline for this,” said Poorvi Chothani, managing partner at LawQuest, an immigration law firm.

The case disputing these changes had been filed by the US Chamber of Commerce and other industry associations and universities. Indian IT lobby group Nasscom said that it had submitted comments on behalf of thousands of member companies, objecting to the IFRs on both procedural and substantive grounds.

“We viewed the rule as unjustified and had sought for rescinding the IFRs in its entirety, given the significant harm it would do to American businesses, American workers, and to the United States’ economy as a whole. It clearly was not supported by statute or procedure,” it said in a statement.

Through the Covid-19 pandemic, unemployment in the IT sector has remained at around 3-3.5%, significantly lower than the overall unemployment levels in the country. This has prompted experts to question the need to bring in tighter visa regulations aimed at boosting domestic employment.

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One Christian Killed, Four Kidnapped in Nigeria

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Nigeria– A bus driver was killed and four female members of an Anglican Church abducted while driving along Kaduna-Kachia road on Tuesday, April 6th, reports the Barnabus Fund.

“Bandits blockaded the road and opened fire on the church bus and another truck. In addition to the Christian bus driver, named as Alfred Makinde, three others were killed in the gunfire,” stated the news source.

The kidnappers contacted the church demanding a N100 million (about $245,000) ransom.

“My conversation with the Anglican church is there were 15 members in the bus but the others ran into the bush and others were shot and sustained injuries, but the bandits took four persons; one old woman and three young ladies” said Reverend Joseph Hayab, the Kaduna Christian Association of Nigeria chairman.

The attack comes just twelve days after eight Christians were abducted while driving on the same Kaduna-Kachia road, about 20 miles outside of Kaduna city. Christians are particularly targeted in this area of Nigeria, often referred to as the middle belt, where the Muslim majority north meets Nigeria’s mostly Christian south, creating an environment of ethnic tension which often results in severe Christian persecution. Christian communities are targeted, and thousands of believers have been kidnapped, tortured and killed with nowhere to turn for safety. While the government denies religious motive behind these attacks, the frequent burning of churches and targeting of believers shows that a hatred of Christianity plays a key role in the violence throughout the Middle Belt.

Please pray for the safe return of all who have been kidnapped. Please join us in praying for our brothers and sisters in Nigeria, for the Lord to strengthen the Nigerian church and heal His persecuted children of their trauma. Please also pray for the world to recognize the scale of the suffering that believers are having to endure in Nigeria, as well as for the souls of those who persecute the church, that all will repent and find salvation in Christ.
Sources:persecution

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പാസ്റ്റർ ജോൺ വർഗീസിൻ്റെ (രാജൻ പ്ലാന്തോട്ടത്തിൽ) സഹധർമ്മിണി ഏലിക്കുട്ടി വർഗീസ് (ലില്ലി -71) അമേരിക്കയിൽ നിര്യാതയായി

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ഒക്കലഹോമ: ഐ.പി.സി. ഹെബ്രോൻ മുൻ ശുശ്രുഷകനും സിനിയർ പാസ്റ്ററുമായ Rev. Dr. ജോൺ വർഗീസിന്റ (രാജൻ. പ്ലാന്തോട്ടത്തിൽ, ആഞ്ഞിലിത്താനം ) ഭാര്യ എലിക്കുട്ടി വർഗീസ് (ലില്ലി – 71) ഏപ്രിൽ 10-ന് പ്രഭാതത്തിൽ താൻ പ്രിയം വെച്ച കർത്തൃ സന്നിധിയിൽ ചേർക്കപ്പെട്ടു. മെമ്മോറിയൽ സർവ്വീസ് ഏപ്രിൽ 16 നു വെള്ളിയാഴ്ച വൈകിട്ട് 6- മണിക്കും സംസ്കാര ശ്രുശ്രുഷ ഏപ്രിൽ 17- നു രാവിലെ 10 മണിക്കും നടത്തപ്പെടുന്നതായിരിക്കും . രണ്ടു ശുശ്രുഷകളും ഒക്കലഹോമ ഐ.പി.സി. ഹെബ്രോൻ സഭാ ഹാളിൽ വെച്ച് നടത്തപ്പെടുന്നതായിരിക്കും.

മകൾ : ഫെബി മാത്യു.
മരുമകൻ: ജോൺസൻ മാത്യു (ബോബി ).

കൊച്ചുമക്കൾ: ജോയാന, രൂത്ത് & ക്രിസ്റ്റഫർ

Viewing:- Wednesday 4 – 7.30pm (prayer meeting 6.30 pm – 7.30pm)

Memorial service:- Friday 6.30 pm. @IPCH

Home Going Service:- Saturday 10 am. @ IPCH

Follow CDC guidelines.
Come and go as you wish.

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