Why international students may have Big Tech to thank for the US’s visa reversal

Sometimes, it helps to have friends in high places.

A coalition of powerful U.S. technology companies and trade organizations threw their support behind a legal challenge — launched by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology — to block the federal government from banning international students from attending online only classes on U.S. soil in the midst of the coronavirus outbreak. And Big Tech’s involvement may have been a key factor behind the administration’s last minute about-face on Tuesday.

Revocation of the rule means that the U.S. Department of State may again issue visas to international students enrolled in U.S. schools for the fall semester. In addition, U.S. Customs and Border Protection no longer has authority to deny those students entry to, or continued residence in, the country.

Yet the Trump administration’s aborted effort was noteworthy for the big guns that joined forces to block the move. A coalition

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Trump administration drops plan to deport international students in online-only classes

Two of the country’s top universities won a major victory over the Trump administration on Tuesday, after the government agreed to halt its plan to deport international college students who only use online courses to study this fall.

The decision marks a stunning retreat for the Trump administration, which left schools and students reeling following a July 6 announcement that spurred lawsuits and condemnation from a growing list of states, schools, politicians, labor unions and tech sector giants. That included the powerful U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which announced it was “pleased that the Department of Homeland Security rescinded its ill-conceived policy regarding international students” following the decision.

Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology sued both DHS and Immigration and Customs Enforcement last week, days after the government warned schools it would begin to reinstate tight restrictions on the number of online classes foreign students are allowed to take while

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Loss of international students could damage US economy, experts say

The world of higher education, already struggling to cope amid the COVID-19 pandemic, was rocked last week when the Trump administration issued a regulation that would prevent international students from entering the country in addition to compelling thousands already in the U.S. to leave if enrolled in schools that plan to teach exclusively online in the fall.

“These students and their families have invested so much hope and money — in some cases, their families’ life savings — to get an American education,” Kavita Daiya, an associate professor of English at George Washington University, told ABC News. “By being here, they bring so much talent and knowledge to our communities. To force them to leave is to betray the promise of opportunity and fairness that undergirds American higher education.”

Implementation of the order could cost the U.S. tens of billions of dollars and thousands of jobs, but on Tuesday the

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Trump administration reverses new visa guidelines for international students

The Trump administration walked back a sudden policy change that would have potentially blocked hundreds of thousands of international students from remaining in or returning to the U.S. while pressuring universities to resume in-person classes in the fall amid the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Following a week-long fight by Harvard University, the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and more than a dozen state attorneys general, the government agreed on Tuesday to “rescind” a policy that would have affected international students who are attending institutions that have opted to go completely remote over the fall.

“For the hundreds of thousands of international students across this country who enrich our institutions and strengthen our communities — we celebrate this victory with you,” Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said in a statement. “This ICE rule was senseless and illegal the minute it came out, and the Trump Administration knew it didn’t have

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International students denied U.S. entry under new visa rules

By Ted Hesson

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – International students have already been denied entry to the United States under new Trump administration rules that bar them from the country if their schools hold all classes online amid the coronavirus pandemic, according to a court document filed on Sunday.

The “friend of the court” brief, written by dozens of universities and colleges, was filed in support of a lawsuit brought by Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) seeking to block immigration rules issued on July 6 that blindsided academic institutions across the country.

The brief said U.S. immigration authorities were “already preventing returning students from re-entering the country” and cited the case of a DePaul University student returning from South Korea who was denied at San Francisco International Airport.

DePaul declined to make the student available for an interview. A U.S. Customs and Border Protection spokesman did not comment

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Harvard’s international students are begging the school to let them come to campus in the fall, citing fears of being stuck in unstable home environments if they’re forced to leave the US

One student is circulating a "Hear Us Harvard" petition asking the university to better support international students.
One student is circulating a “Hear Us Harvard” petition asking the university to better support international students.

Charles Krupa/AP

  • Last week, ICE released guidance stating that international students would not be allowed back into the US in the fall unless they were taking in-person classes at their university.

  • This poses a problem for Harvard’s international students, as the school recently said classes in the fall would be entirely remote.

  • Students told Business Insider that these regulations pose serious problems for them, including the difficulty of keeping up with online courses while in a different time zone and with poor internet connection.

  • Some also face unsafe or unaccommodating home situations, making it even harder for them to find a proper place to keep up with their studies.

  • Rachael Dane, a spokesperson for Harvard, told Business Insider that “the overwhelming reason to deliver all instruction remotely is Harvard’s commitment to protecting the

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Urgent deadline approaches for international college students fighting to stay in U.S.

California's three public university systems are fighting federal immigration orders that could force international students at UCLA, above, and other campuses to leave the country. <span class="copyright">(Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times)</span>
California’s three public university systems are fighting federal immigration orders that could force international students at UCLA, above, and other campuses to leave the country. (Glenn Koenig/Los Angeles Times)

With an urgent deadline approaching Wednesday, the collective force of California’s three public systems of higher education, which educate nearly 3 million students, have joined the legal fight to stop federal immigration authorities from banning international students from the U.S. if they take only online courses this fall.

Two separate lawsuits by the University of California and state Atty. Gen. Xavier Becerra with California State University and California Community Colleges have put the nation’s premier public research university and the two largest public higher education systems behind the effort to stop the federal order.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement issued a July 6 directive that requires international students taking only online classes to leave the country and bans visas from being

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Christian groups oppose ICE rule on international students

Leaders of 12 Christian organizations on Friday urged the Trump administration to rescind a policy requiring international students to leave the U.S. or transfer if their colleges hold classes entirely online this fall, saying it “falls short of American ideals.”

In a letter to Acting Secretary of Homeland Security Chad Wolf, shared with The Associated Press, the leaders wrote that the policy “robs our country of the significant contribution” international students make to their colleges on both a personal and economic level. It “lacks compassion” and “violates tenets of our faith,” the letter continued, citing specific Biblical passages.

“International students who have already arrived in the United States and who are enrolled in degree programs should be allowed to complete their courses of study in this country without further disruption,” the leaders said. “This is reasonable, compassionate, and consistent with our national interests.”

Among the signatories are National Association of

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Harvard, MIT sue to block ICE rule on international students

BOSTON (AP) — Colleges and universities pushed back Wednesday against the Trump administration’s decision to make international students leave the country if they plan on taking classes entirely online this fall, with Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology filing a lawsuit to try to block it, and others promising to work with students to keep them on campus.

U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement notified colleges Monday that international students will be forced to leave the U.S. or transfer to another college if their schools operate entirely online this fall. New visas will not be issued to students at those schools, and others at universities offering a mix of online and in-person classes will be barred from taking all of their classes online.

The guidance says international students won’t be exempt even if an outbreak forces their schools online during the fall term.

In a statement, the U.S. State

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Colleges sue ICE over international student rule. Others try to find loopholes

Two universities have filed lawsuits against the U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement after the agency said international students could be deported if they only take online classes.

International students must take in-person classes in order to stay in the country legally, ICE announced Monday, drawing swift criticism from some of the nation’s top universities, including Harvard and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.

Some colleges plan to keep students off campus this fall due to the coronavirus pandemic, so they wouldn’t have the option to take in-person classes.

There are 1.1 million international college students in the U.S., according to New York University.

Students on visas must take in-person college classes or risk deportation, ICE says

Harvard President Lawrence Bacow and MIT President Rafael Reif filed a joint lawsuit Wednesday morning against ICE and the Department of Homeland Security in an attempt to reverse the new rule.

“ICE’s decision reflects

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