180 US colleges file petition against Trump student visa policy

PUNE: Over 180 American colleges and universities have come together to oppose the Trump administration decision to not issue visas to students whose colleges would only be offering classes online. Last week, Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology had filed a petition against Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) at a district court in Boston. On July 10, 2020, the Presidents’ Alliance led 180 institutions in filing an amicus brief requesting a temporary restraining order against this. The judge has given ICE time till Monday, 13th July to respond to this.

Following Harvard and MIT, several prestigious American universities have joined this litigation, including Cornell, University of Pennsylvania and Princeton, among others. The new notification by ICE said that it would not be issuing visas to international students whose universities would only be conducting classes online. Students would have to have a mix of online and offline courses to remain eligible to travel to, or to remain in the US for the Fall semester starting in September. It has mandated that universities announced by 15th July how they would be conducting their classes for the upcoming semester.

Universities like Harvard have already announced that even while they would be allowing a certain percentage of students back on campus, classes would be conducted online because of social distancing norms.

The Presidents’ Alliance is an alliance of American college and university leaders dedicated to increasing public understanding of how immigration policies and practices impact students, campuses and communities. It support policies that create a welcoming environment for immigrant, undocumented and international students on our campuses, according to its founding statement.

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