17 states are suing ICE over its policy that would revoke the visas of international students at colleges operating entirely online in the fall

  • The Trump administration issued a directive on July 6, stating that international students attending schools operating entirely online in the fall may not remain the US. The ruling came as many campuses were announcing their virtual reopening plans.
  • This Monday, 17 states and the District of Columbia filed a lawsuit with the US District Court in Boston to block the motion. The states included in the filing are: Massachusetts, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, Maryland, Michigan, Minnesota, Nevada, New Jersey, New Mexico, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Vermont, Virginia, and Wisconsin.
  • The filing states that there are over 370,000 international students at over 1,100 colleges across the 17 states — and that those very students contributed roughly $14.5 billion to the economy in 2019.
  • "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," Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey wrote in a July 13 statement announcing the lawsuit.
  • In a news conference last week, White House Press Secretary Kayleigh McEnany defended the initial ruling: "You don't get a visa for taking online classes from, let's say, University of Phoenix. So why would you if you were just taking online classes, generally?"
  • Multistate involvement is the latest legal action taken against the ruling threatening to deport international students. Harvard and MIT filed a lawsuit — since joined by more than 200 additional universities — to block the motion last week.
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