The Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) on Wednesday, 8 July, sued the Donald Trump administration over its order to not give international students US visas and deport them if courses go online due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The US, on Monday, had said that it would not allow foreign students to remain in the country if all of their classes are moved online in the autumn season.

The universities told the US District Court in Boston that they relied on the Department of Homeland Security’s policy from March, that allowed foreign students in the US to stay and also allow new students to enroll this fall.

Those affected by this move would be non-immigrant F-1 and M-1 students, the US Immigration and Custom Enforcement (ICE) agency said, adding that they should depart the country or take a transfer to a school having in-person instruction.

The order will impact thousands of Indian students studying in the US.

“We believe that the ICE order is bad public policy, and we believe that it is illegal… We will pursue this case vigorously so that our international students – and international students at institutions across the country – can continue their studies without the threat of deportation,” said Harvard University President Lawrence as quoted by NDTV from The Harvard Crimson.

Also read: International Students might leave USA or Transfer to other Universities for On-Campus classes

“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,” Bacow was quoted by The New York Times as saying.


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