Trump administration surrenders its recent attack on immigrant students

Trump administration surrenders its recent attack on immigrant students
President Donald J. Trump signs H.R. 4334- The Supporting Older Americans Act of 2020, Wednesday, March 25, 2020, in the Oval Office of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Shealah Craighead)

President Donald Trump’s Immigration and Customs Enforcement agency (ICE) says it will not deport students legally in the U.S. on student visas if their colleges and universities move their courses online during the pandemic. Last week Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) sued the administration to get the decision reversed.

The threat was largely seen as tied to President Donald Trump’s campaign push to have all schools reopen in the fall, a means to move the economy forward so parents are able to return to work and not have to be concerned about childcare.

“U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs on Tuesday announced that the U.S. had agreed with Harvard and MIT to rescind a new policy requiring the students to take at least one in-person class,” Bloomberg News reports. They add that “a dozen ‘friend of the court’ briefs [were] filed in support of the Harvard suit from hundreds of universities and some of the country’s largest tech companies.”

17 states also filed suit against the Trump administration in a separate case.

Many thousands of students could have been forced to leave the country, returning in some cases to nations where time zones and internet access laws make it difficult to participate in online learning.

Immigration attorney Greg Siskind calls it a “HUGE surrender” by the Trump administration.

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