The Trump administration has rescinded a Department of Homeland Security (DHS) rule change that would force foreign students taking full-online course loads in the fall term to return to their home countries.
The announcement was made by U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs ahead of a scheduled Tuesday hearing for a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology against DHS. 17 states and the District of Columbia had also filed an additional suit against DHS over the changes to SEVP.
BREAKING: The Trump administration has rescinded a rule that would have forced international students to leave the country if their colleges hold classes online this fall. The administration was sued over the new policy by Harvard and MIT. https://t.co/5kqSNY7r2C
— The Associated Press (@AP) July 14, 2020
The White House and DHS did not immediately respond to Daily Caller’s inquiries by press time. (RELATED: DHS Rule Change Will Allow ICE To Remove Foreign Students Taking Fully-Online Course Load In The Fall)
The new DHS policy, first announced on July 6, put a temporary freeze on all new visas issued through the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP) and alerted foreign students currently living in the country that in order to stay, they must enroll at a university offering in-person classes in the fall. The rule allowed for foreign students to take up to three credit hours of online classes but opened the door for Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) to initiate removal proceedings against foreign students taking full-online course loads.
The move was the latest in a string of actions President Donald Trump took to limit immigration in response to the coronavirus pandemic. He signed an executive order in June that put a temporary stay on work visas in an effort to address rising unemployment due to coronavirus by freeing up an estimated 500,000 jobs. The order suspended H-1B visas, H-2B visas, certain J visas, and L visas but order carved out exceptions for lawful permanent residents, foreign workers who are essential to the U.S. food supply, and any spouse or child of a U.S. citizen.
This is a developing story and will be updated with new information as it becomes available.