Washington state sues Trump administration over student visa rules

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Bob Ferguson
Washington state Attorney General Bob Ferguson speaking at the 2017 GeekWire Summit. (GeekWire Photo / Dan DeLong)

Washington Attorney General Bob Ferguson announced plans to sue the federal government over new rules that would ban international students from the U.S. if their course load is offered entirely online.

The lawsuit claims the proposal, unveiled by Immigration and Customs Enforcement this week, threatens the revenue and safety of universities in Washington state. Ferguson is seeking a temporary restraining order blocking the order from taking effect July 15. The case follows lawsuits filed by Harvard and MIT this week.

Related: Univ. of Washington will move 80% of classes online this fall amid looming threats from COVID and ICE

Ferguson plans to file the lawsuit in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Washington on Friday.

“The Trump Administration is undermining public safety decisions made at the local level and jeopardizing more than a billion dollars in tuition revenue and economic activity in order to pursue a political goal of keeping schools open in the fall,” Ferguson said in a statement. “President Trump and ICE need to let colleges and universities make their own decisions about the health, safety, and education of their students, not arbitrarily and illegally punish schools that want to provide classes remotely.”

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