(Reuters) – Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have asked a federal court to temporarily block a Trump administration rule that would prevent foreign students from staying in the United States if their universities don’t take courses in person. fall, Harvard president said on Wednesday.
Harvard President Lawrence Bacow, in an email to the Harvard community, said: “In the last hour, we have filed with MIT at the United States District Court in Boston in search of a temporary restraining order that prohibit execution of the order. We will vigorously pursue this case so that our international students – and international students at institutions across the country ̵
The move by Harvard and MIT, two of the most elite US universities, comes two days after the Trump administration issued an order that could force tens of thousands of foreign students to leave the country if their schools hold all the lessons online . Harvard had announced that he would be taking all the lessons online this fall.
The Trump administration’s announcement has blinded academic institutions grappling with the logistical challenges of safely taking classes back as the coronavirus pandemic continues unabated around the world and spreads to the United States.
It also marked an unexpected reversal of exceptions to the rules that limit online learning for foreign students, when March universities and universities rushed to campuses and moved to virtual classrooms while the pandemic forced blockades.
“The order came without warning – his cruelty was only overcome by his unconsciousness,” said Bacow’s email. “It appears to have been intentionally designed to put pressure on colleges and universities to open their campus classrooms for in-person education this fall, without considering the health and safety concerns of students, instructors and others.”
There are over a million foreign students in colleges and universities in the United States, and many schools depend on the income of foreign students, who often pay tuition fees.
The U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) agency said that institutions that switch entirely to online learning must submit plans to the agency by July 15. Schools that will only use in-person learning, shortened or delayed lessons or a mixture of in-person and online learning must submit plans by August 1st.
The guide applies to F-1 and M-1 visa holders, which are intended for academic and professional students.
Reporting by Dan Burns; Editing by Chizu Nomiyama and Bernadette Baum