Eighteen American states, plus Washington D.C., are suing the Trump Administration over its new executive rule dictating that foreign students must return to their countries if their universities are not holding in-person classes, as reported by Politico.
The group of states, led by Attorney General Maura Healey (D-Mass.), are essentially arguing that schools have the right to remain shut down since in-person classes would allegedly “endanger not only students, faculty, and staff, but also their household members and our communities more broadly.” The statement does not address the Trump Administration’s main point about the foreign students themselves being problematic as a result of no in-person classes, as the rule is not an attempt to force schools to reopen.
The directive was announced by ICE on July 6th, and repealed an exemption for foreign students currently in the United States on F-1 and M-1 visas that allowed them to remain in America even if no classes were being held. It would mandate that such students return to their home countries and prohibit the acceptance of any more foreign students as long as universities remain shut down.
The announcement had already drawn a lawsuit from Ivy League universities such as Harvard and MIT. The new lawsuit comes mostly from Northeastern states, as well as a handful of states in the Southwest and the Rust Belt.