International students in the US were thrown into a bit of a crisis recently after the US government said that it would deport international students whose courses have gone fully online amid the novel coronavirus outbreak. Now, a day later, on Wednesday, Harvard University and Massachusetts Institute of Technology have asked the courts to block the order.
According to a Fox Business report, Harvard and MIT are suing the US department of Homeland Security in response to a new rule by ICE (Immigration and Customs Enforcement) effectively expelling foreign students from US universities who are forced to take online only courses in the fall due to COVID-19,
“By all appearances, ICE’s decision reflects an effort by the federal government to force universities to reopen in-person classes,” Harvard wrote in a press release. “The effect — and perhaps even the goal — is to create as much chaos for universities and international students as possible.”
The US department of State will no longer issue visas to students for schools or programs that have gone fully online for the fall semester, a release had said. “Nor will US Customs and Border Protection permit these students to enter the United States,” the government release had said.
It has also decreed that active students presently in the US would be required to either depart the country or take alternative measures such as enrolling in a course or school with in-person instruction.