International college students in the U.S. on academic and vocational visas must take classes in person or risk deportation, Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced. According to a federal judge in Boston, the Trump administration would annul the order, allowing international students enrolled in online-only classes to remain in the country for the coming semester, Matt Stieb for Intelligencer reports.
The order came as part of Harvard and MIT’s lawsuit against ICE and the Department of Homeland Security
“The order came down without notice — its cruelty surpassed only by its recklessness. It appears that it was designed purposefully to place pressure on colleges and universities to open their on-campus classrooms for in-person instruction this fall, without regard to concerns for the health and safety of students, instructors, and others.” wrote Harvard President Larry Bacow, whose university announced hours before the ICE directive that all its classes would be online-only for the coming school year.
Tech giants including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and PayPal filed a court brief in support of the Harvard-MIT lawsuit, stressing that the visa order would cause “significant harm” to American businesses. Reuters reports that “the U.S. government and Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who sued over the measure had come to a settlement that would make the rule moot.” CNN reports that “the White House has felt the blowback to the proposal and that some inside the West Wing believe it was poorly conceived and executed.”