Harvard, MIT sue US immigration agencies over new rules barring foreign students

PTI New York | Updated on July 08, 2020

Students and pedestrians at Harvard University.   -  Reuters


The Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have sued the Department of Homeland Security and the federal immigration agency over new guidelines barring foreign students from remaining in America if their universities switched to online-only classes in the Fall.

A report in The Harvard Crimson said the two pre-eminent educational institutions filed a lawsuit in the District Court in Boston on Wednesday against the two federal agencies. The lawsuit seeks a temporary restraining order and preliminary and permanent injunctive relief to bar the US Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement from the enforcing federal guidelines that will force international students to leave the US.

Harvard University President Lawrence Bacow said in an e-mail to affiliates that the order came down without notice. “Its cruelty surpassed only by its recklessness. 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,” Bacow said, according to the Crimson report.

The Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) said in a press release issued on Monday that for the Fall 2020 semester students attending schools operating entirely online may not take a full online course load and remain in the US.

The Crimson report said Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey announced Tuesday that her office will sue over the guidelines, which she called cruel and illegal.

The Harvard lawsuit argues that the guidelines violated the Administrative Procedure Act by failing to consider important aspects of the problem in advance of its release, failing to provide a reasonable basis for the policy, and failing to adequately notify the public.

Published on July 08, 2020

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