In a swift reversal, the Trump administration has agreed to rescind a directive that would have barred international college students from the U.S. if their colleges offered classes entirely online in the fall semester.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement rule change, released last week, would have prohibited foreign students from entering or remaining in the country to take fully online course loads. A number of colleges and universities had already announced plans to offer online-only classes because of the coronavirus pandemic.
The agency’s July 6 announcement was met with immediate backlash.
Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued the U.S. government in federal court two days later, calling the directive “arbitrary and capricious” and seeking to have it reversed and declared unlawful.
Many colleges, universities, municipalities and tech companies expressed their support for the legal challenge in their own court filings.
In Tuesday’s session at the U.S. District Court for the District of Massachusetts, the universities were expected to make arguments saying that this rule was onerous for schools and even dangerous for students. MORE