Trump administration rescinds restrictions for international students


Photo Courtesy of Sipa USA

President Donald Trump responds to a question from the news media as he walks to Marine One on the South Lawn of the White House on Friday.

By Aliza Majid, Staff Writer

The Trump administration rescinded the recent directive from the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement that would have required international students to transfer or leave the country if classes were held online due to the pandemic.

“A federal lawsuit was filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology and another led by the Illinois Attorney General and 17 other states’ attorneys general, both supported with legal filings by the U of I System and its three universities,” said Tim Killeen, the president of the University of Illinois System.

More than 200 signed court briefs supported the federal lawsuits as many of these colleges rely on tuition from international students. 

U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs said federal immigration authorities revoked the ICE restriction and “returned to the status quo.”

The ICE policy would prohibit international students from staying in the U.S. if classes were completely online and new visas would not be issued to students under these circumstances. 

It has been speculated that this policy was part of President Donald Trump’s plan to pressure education facilities to reopen this fall regardless of the pandemic.

Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology stated that immigration officials violated procedural rules by issuing this policy without any consideration. It also contradicted ICE’s directive in March telling schools that limits on online education would be suspended “for the duration of the emergency.”

[email protected]