WASHINGTON (CN) — A federal judge ruled Friday that the Trump administration wrongfully delayed implementation of an Obama-era immigration rule that allows foreign entrepreneurs to enter the country temporarily without a visa or a green card.
Noting that “elections have consequences,” U.S. District Judge James Boasberg ruled on Dec. 1 that the Department of Homeland Security violated the Administrative Procedure Act, the law that “shapes the contours of those consequences.”
Boasberg found that Homeland Security acted unlawfully by failing to provide notice or solicit public comment, as required by the law, before it issued a rule that delayed implementation of the International Entrepreneur Rule by eight months.
Lead attorney Paul Hughes said the ruling could have a sweeping impact on the Trump administration.
“This decision is going to have substantial and cross-cutting effects to the current administration’s efforts to delay Obama-era rules without going through the proper procedures,” Hughes said in a phone interview. “The current administration cannot simply delay or suspend prior Obama-era regulations without going through the proper procedures.”
Hughes, with Mayer Brown, filed the complaint on Sept. 19, with attorneys from the American Immigration Council, on behalf of foreign nationals Atma and Anand Krishna, American companies Omni Labs Inc. and Peak Labs LLC, and the lead plaintiff, the National Venture Capital Association.
The Department of Homeland Security said it does not comment on pending litigation.
The Obama administration issued the International Entrepreneur Rule on Jan. 17, three days before President Donald Trump’s inauguration. It was to take effect six months later.
The rule was intended to fill a gap in visa categories that posed an obstacle to foreign entrepreneurs, leaving them without a clear path to enter the country.
The rule provided a solution to that dilemma, allowing them to apply for “parole” status, which would give the Department of Homeland Security authority to admit foreign entrepreneurs temporarily on a case-by-case basis, without granting them formal immigration status.
However, on July 11 this year, six days before the rule’s implementation date, the Department of Homeland Security issued a superseding rule, postponing its implementation until March 14, 2018.
By Britain Eakin for COURT HOUSE NEWS
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