The Trump administration is walking back a controversial rule that would not allow international students to remain the country if their universities plan to hold all classes online.
U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced it will rescind the rule Tuesday in a court filing in response to a case brought by Harvard and MIT. Harvard plans to offer all of its courses online for the fall term due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The document, filed in federal court in Boston, says the government intends to rescind the July 6 order which “moots the temporary restraining order” that the universities were seeking.
Last week, Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson filed a separate lawsuit over the student visa rule, claiming it threatened revenue and safety of universities in the state. Washington Gov. Jay Inslee accused President Donald Trump of “trying to use young students as pawns” in a press conference.
University of Washington President Ana Mari Cauce praised the decision to rescind the order on Twitter.
This order being rescinded is welcome news for the @UW and for our international students, who should never have been put in this position. We’ll continue to monitor the situation, and thank you to everyone who worked for this outcome! Updated post: https://t.co/13re40aOUq https://t.co/FUhAzWv76E
— Ana Mari Cauce (@amcauce) July 14, 2020
Microsoft President Brad Smith and other tech leaders also endorsed the decision.
Good news! We’re pleased that the DHS plans to rescind the ICE directive on foreign-student visas. As colleges and universities work to safely reopen, this move helps remove some uncertainty for those impacted.
— Brad Smith (@BradSmi) July 14, 2020
Earlier this month, Ken Cuccinelli, secretary of the Department of Homeland Security, told CNN that the regulations were designed, in part, to “encourage schools to reopen.” That admission was included in the lawsuit brought by MIT and Harvard.
“If a school isn’t going to open or if they’re going to be 100% online then we wouldn’t expect people to be here for that,” Cuccinelli said in the interview.
The regulations would have taken effect this week.
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