In a surprising move, President Trump has reversed the previous US visa exemption from July 6th, which would have temporarily denied M-1 and F-1 nonimmigrant student visas to those taking online only classes and would have required students already enrolled for such classes to leave the US. In response to the earlier July decision, “hundreds of colleges and universities, dozens of cities, and some of the country’s biggest tech companies” expressed disapproval and at least nine lawsuits were filed against the Trump administration. The new ruling allows “international students to remain in the country even if they are taking all their classes online” – a move which extends a temporary emergency policy put in place in the spring.
While the Right argued that the Trump administration’s initial move was rightly authorized and that “F-1 visas have always excluded online-only programs,” it was also believed that it would ultimately hurt the US. A group of 15 GOP Congress members signed a letter appealing the move and asking for the policy to be reversed.
“These hardworking students are the best and brightest from their countries, and they help our communities grow both culturally and economically.”Rodney Davis, Representative for Illiniois
The Left praises the reversal and called the initial exemption “illegal.” Trump had been criticized for using foreign students as “political leverage” in an attempt to reopen schools and the economy, a move which they say is imperative for his reelection chances.
“The loss of international students could have cost universities millions of dollars in tuition and jeopardized the ability of U.S. companies to hire the highly skilled workers who often start their careers with an American education.”Miriam Jordan and Anemona Hartocollis, national correspondents with The New York Times
Lawrence Bacow, president of Harvard University, which filed a lawsuit against the Trump administration, stated, “This is a significant victory.” However, many say the battle is not over, and that they will continue to fight any similar measures in the future.
ICE is rescinding its rule that threatens to deport international students, a day after we filed our lawsuit.— Maura Healey (@MassAGO) July 14, 2020
This is why we sue. The rule was illegal and the Trump Administration knew they didn’t have a chance.
They may try this again. We will be ready.