Trump Administration Drops Policy to Deport Foreign Students From Online-Only Schools

The Trump administration is dropping new regulations that would have led to the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency deporting foreign students who were at online-only schools and unable to attend in-person classes during the coronavirus pandemic, according to the Daily Mail.

The decision comes after Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) filed the lawsuit against the Department of Homeland Security (DHS) and ICE agency in District Court in Boston.

The new regulations were initially announced on July 6.

From the report:

New visas would not have been issued to students at schools planning to provide all classes online, which includes Harvard. Students already in the US would have faced deportation if they didn’t transfer schools or leave the country voluntarily. The policy drew sharp backlash from higher education institutions, with more than 200 signing court briefs supporting the challenge by Harvard and MIT. Colleges said the policy would put students’ safety at risk and hurt schools financially. Many schools rely on tuition from international students, and some stood to lose millions of dollars in revenue if the rule had taken hold.

More than 1 million college students come from overseas and hold F-1 and M-1 nonimmigrant visas which allow the students to “pursue academic and vocational coursework.”

Those visas would have been directly impacted by the new regulations that were expected to be put forward.

Many believed that the regulations were put in place as part of an effort to reopen campuses and schools across the country after they were shuttered due to the ongoing pandemic. But the extreme measure was expectedly met with backlash and the regulations were forced to be rolled back.

In the end, everyone comes back as a winner and the foreign-born students who were facing added stress over their futures can now breathe a sigh of relief.

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