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US government takes back ruling hostile to international students

Over 200 universities and 17 states had signed court briefings backing Harvard and MIT as they challenged ICE.
BY Skendha Singh |   15-07-2020

College Harvard
Credit: www.college.harvard.edu

The US government has rescinded its ruling that international students taking classes online in the fall semester would have to transfer schools or be deported.

The decision – termed reckless and cruel by Harvard President Lawrence Bacow, was challenged in court by Harvard and MIT, and was backed by 17 US states and more than 200 universities. According to news reports, 7 more suits had been filed in opposition to this ruling.

Maura Healey, the Massachusetts attorney general, told the press, “The Trump administration didn't even attempt to explain the basis for this senseless rule, which forces schools to choose between keeping their international students enrolled and protecting the health and safety of their campuses.”

According to the ruling by Immigrations and Customs Enforcement, international students would have been prohibited from taking classes online and remaining in the US. New students would not receive visas for schools offering online classes. These schools include Harvard and many of the Ivy League universities.

The schools understood the impact on international students who are majorly responsible for greasing the wheels of the American higher education system. In the filing against the rule, they wrote: “These students are core members of our institutions. They make valuable contributions to our classrooms, campuses, and communities - contributions that have helped make American higher education the envy of the world." (Al Jazeera)

ICE officials argued that the policy was lenient because students who were deported would still have valid visas. However, the universities argued that the President’s emergency ruling – under which the ICE had stated that there were no limits on online education during this period – was still in place.

The universities and the government arrived at a settlement before the actual hearing.



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