Immigration Law

US drops plan to revoke visas of foreign students taking all online classes after Harvard and MIT sue

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The Trump administration has dropped plans to revoke visas of foreign college students who are taking all online courses this fall, a federal judge announced on Tuesday.

U.S. District Judge Allison Burroughs of Boston said the government has agreed to reinstate a March exemption that allowed students with nonimmigrant visas to take all their classes online during the COVID-19 pandemic, report the New York Times, the Harvard Crimson, WBUR and Politico.

Burroughs made the announcement during a hearing in a lawsuit filed by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Hundreds of colleges had filed amicus briefs supporting the suit, filed last Wednesday.

The universities had argued U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement hadn’t provided any reasoned basis for its July 6 decision to revoke the emergency exemption. The universities alleged the government’s actual agenda appeared to be driven by the government’s stated desire to encourage universities to reopen.

Burroughs said the agreement reached in the university case applies nationwide.

The universities’ suit was among several challenging the July 6 policy switch.

Hat tip to @ReichlinMelnick.

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