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Murthy Law Firm Files Brief in Support of Individual Rights in AC21 Cases

The Murthy Law Firm filed an amicus curiae (friend of the court) brief with the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) Administrative Appeals Office (AAO), urging for a long-needed change in interpretation and policy. The issue centers on recognition of rights of immigrant petition (form I-140) beneficiaries / employees in the context of the portability provisions of the American Competitiveness in the Twenty First Century Act (AC21). The Murthy Law Firm filed this amicus curiae brief in response to a request for such briefs by the AAO, as discussed in the MurthyDotCom NewsBrief, AAO to Consider Individuals’ Rights in AC21 Cases (16.Apr.2015).

AC21 Recognizes the Rights of the Employee in I-140 Petitions

The Murthy Law Firm has argued for years that the individual beneficiary should be given full legal recognition in I-140 petition matters that fall under the AC21 portability umbrella. Under AC21 portability, the I-140 is no longer tied to the initial sponsoring petitioner. Therefore, it is illogical to consider that the initial sponsoring employer is the only “affected party” with a legally recognized interest in the I-140 petition. In fact, once the sponsored employee has left the original sponsoring employer under AC21, that previous employer often does not care about the outcome of the I-140 petition. On the other hand, the beneficiary continues to have a great deal at stake.

In filing this amicus curiae, the Murthy Law Firm asserts that, by using the portability provision of AC21, the beneficiary is moved from a purely passive role with regard to the I-140 to an active role. In fact, in these types of cases, the beneficiary becomes the sole party directly affected by the fate of the I-140 petition, meaning it falls within the zone of interests of the employee. Therefore, it is the position of the Murthy Law Firm that an I-140 beneficiary who has ported to a new employer pursuant to AC21 must be granted legal standing with regard to the I-140.

Conclusion

While this amicus curiae brief addresses some complex legal issues, there is a simple logic behind the position being taken by the Murthy Law Firm. This matter is all about which party/ies have access to information about an I-140 petition and have the right to present evidence and arguments in support of the petition. Under AC21, there comes a point when the only party that truly cares about the viability of the I-140 is the beneficiary. Once that stage is reached, the firm vigorously contends that the beneficiary should be recognized as an “affected party” and given legal standing to pursue interests related to the I-140. MurthyDotCom will provide updates on this topic as additional information becomes available.

 

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