ICE Drops Student Visa Restrictions in Lawsuit

By Naniyah McClain

Member of the Social Media Team and Staff Writer

Facing eight federal lawsuits filed by universities across the country, the Trump administration on Tuesday, July 14, caved on a proposed rule requiring international students to transfer or leave the U.S if their universities required online courses because of  COVID-19 . The policy was announced on Monday, July 6.

Associate Vice President for University Communications Angelo Carfagna issued a statement from FDU President Christopher Capuano: “We disagreed strongly with the policy and we are very glad that reason has prevailed and the policy has been reversed. We need to do all we can to continue to support our international students and recognize the important role they play on our college campuses.”

Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued the Immigration and Customs Enforcement, and John Hopkins University and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra filed separate suits to block the policy. Additionally, the District of Columbia, as well as other states, also sued against the policy. 

The universities argued that policy contradicted the Immigration and Customs Enforcement’s directive of online classes being used during the time of the state of emergency, which was released on March 13 along with the state of emergency requirements of the beginning of the Covid-19 quarantine.

After dropping the policy, the Trump administration claims that the plans for not allowing international students to take online classes were only “plans”  that couldn’t be fully implemented until regulations were “formally crafted.” 

After the Trump administration dropped the policy, the State Department updated its Foreign Affairs Manual. The update covers the issuance of visas by barring the visas of international students who plan to take online courses.

“The U.S. must continue to make clear that it welcomes international students and recognizes the enormous contributions they make to university communities and the country at large,” Peter McPherson, president of the association of public and land-grant universities said.

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