Stay May Have Positive Implications for Camps' J-1 Visa Participants

October 6, 2020
stock photo - airport

On Thursday, October 1, a Federal District Court judge in Northern California issued a preliminary injunction prohibiting enforcement of the Presidential Proclamation suspending a large number of J-1 and other non-immigrant work visas. While the stay is limited to the four plaintiffs in the case, one of them is the US Chamber of Commerce, which may have positive implications for camps.

According to the Wall Street Journal, “The ruling applies to workers for companies represented by the plaintiffs in the suit: the National Association of Manufacturers, the US Chamber of Commerce, the National Retail Federation, and TechNet.” Among the represented plaintiffs is Intrax, a J-1 visa sponsor.

Sharon Kosch, a part of the American Camp Association’s Government Affairs Committee, said, “Because memberships in associations fluctuate, the interpretation on this ruling is that it applies to current and future members of the US Chamber of Commerce.”

While questions remain around how the government will implement the court order and how the decision impacts visa sponsors and camps’ international cultural exchange program participants, among others, Kosch further shared that the case’s litigating attorney urged cultural exchange program sponsors who are not members of the US Chamber of Commerce already to join. She also noted that organizations holding membership in a local Chamber of Commerce are not automatically members of the national US Chamber of Commerce and should be sure to join the larger organization.

Note that the White House has the right to appeal last Thursday’s decision. In the meantime, camps should stay in contact with their J1 visa program sponsors for the most up-to-date information concerning their immediate steps.