According to a new visa order released by the Trump govt on July 6, only those international students were allowed to stay in the US, who attended at least one in-person class in their schools or colleges, amid times of a global pandemic.
The Trump administration has agreed to revoke this policy after the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts has given the verdict against it.
Trump’s Policy to Ban Foreign Students in the US
The US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) announced in an order on July 6 that nonimmigrant students holding F-1 and M-1 visas, attending only online courses will either need to leave the US or transfer schools.
The lawsuit was filed in the US District Court in Massachusetts against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE.
Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, both of which plan mostly online classes, were the first to challenge these visa rules in court, saying they were hastily implemented in violation of federal procedures.
The directive allows foreign students to take more online classes than they could have a year ago, when only one virtual course was allowed.
How will this Policy Affect International Students in the US
International students with nonimmigrant visas studying in the US expressed frustration and concern.
The attorneys that filed a lawsuit against this government policy called it ‘cruel, abrupt, and unlawful action to expel international students amidst the pandemic that has wrought death and disruption across the United States’.
The policy forces students to go to college and attend at lease one in-person subject, if they wish to live in the US, despite many US universities switched to virtual classes in March, to entertain only a limited lot of students on campus, to contain the coronavirus pandemic.
Government Finally Rescinds the Policy
After a nationwide outrage slashed by attorneys and prestigious institutes like Harvard and MIT, on the July 6 policy, the lawsuit was heard upon in the U.S. District Court in Massachusetts on Tuesday afternoon.
The conclusion was in favour of the students and the Trump administration had to rescind its policy to temporarily bar international students from the US unless they attend at least one in-person class.
Judge Burroughs said the policy would apply nationwide. “Both the policy directive and the frequently asked questions would not be enforced anyplace,” she said, referring to the agreement between the U.S. government and MIT and Harvard.
According to a source, the White House is now focused on having the rule apply only to new students, rather than students already in the US.