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14 Jul, 2020 19:27

Trump admin rescinds directive barring some foreign students from staying in US while taking online courses

Trump admin rescinds directive barring some foreign students from staying in US while taking online courses

The Trump administration has dropped a proposed policy that would have seen thousands of international students deported if their schools were offering only online courses in the fall, following a massive lawsuit.

US District Judge Allison Burroughs announced Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology had reached a settlement with the administration on Tuesday to cancel the new policy, which required non-resident international students to take at least one in-person class or face deportation.

The two Cambridge universities, bolstered by amicus briefs from hundreds of other schools and many tech companies, had sued the administration after Immigration and Customs Enforcement, which oversees student visas and exchange programs, announced the new restriction last week.

Also on rt.com Foreign students face mass DEPORTATIONS from US if their universities switch to online-only classes

They argued that not only would the rule harm students, it would deprive the US of the billions of dollars that international students spend every year.

Additionally, the lawsuit argued, the rules would threaten public health by potentially forcing universities to reopen before they deemed it safe to do so. Harvard has opted to conduct most of its classes online for the fall semester, while MIT is offering “hybrid” classes including online and in-person components.

District Attorneys from 17 states and Washington, DC filed their own separate suit challenging the rule on Monday with similar arguments, citing the economic harm to universities that would be deprived of tuition if international students were forced to transfer to schools offering in-person classes, and the fact that many students might not be able to access online classes in their home countries. Health concerns were also mentioned.

Also on rt.com California sues Trump over rules to deport foreign students if colleges offer online-only classes

While ICE had allowed foreign students to continue residing in the US during the spring semester even if their universities switched to online-only classes, relaxing its rules due to the suddenness of the coronavirus outbreak, federal officials had defended the return to status quo by pointing out that taking in-person classes has always been a requirement for international students.

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