Orrick Appellate Team Backs Amicus Effort in DC Circuit to Preserve OPT Program for International Students

June.21.2021

An Orrick appellate team today filed an amicus brief on behalf of 60 companies and trade associations supporting the Optical Practical Training (OPT) and STEM OPT programs, which enable international students who have enrolled or graduated from U.S. universities to remain in the United States to train in vital areas of science, technology, engineering and math (STEM).

The brief, filed in the United States Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, seeks to uphold a lower court order finding the program a lawful initiative important to the U.S. economy. Our team, led by partner Andrew Silverman, also filed amicus arguments in the district court. The appellate brief was filed on behalf of many major companies, including salesforce, Dow, Netflix, Microsoft, Ernst & Young, Cisco and Intel.

The WashTech case was filed in 2016, challenging the Department of Homeland Security’s programs available to foreign-born students who need the visas under OPT and STEM OPT as a bridge to exploring longer-term immigration options in the United States. The challenge has attracted widespread attention from businesses, colleges, research institutions, and immigrant-rights organizations.

In addition to Andrew, the Orrick team on the DC Circuit brief includes associates Thomas King-Sun Fu and Elizabeth Cruikshank. Donahue, Goldberg, Weaver & Littleton are co-counsel.