The United States President Donald Trump is facing a field lawsuit by the attorneys general of 17 states and the District of Columbia for not permitting international students to take online-only courses this fall semester.
The lawsuit has been filed on Monday by the attorneys and the District of Columbia, in the US Court in Massachusetts against the Department of Homeland Security and Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They also attempt to stop the policy from going into effect, while the case is being decided, VisaGuide.World reports.
Massachusetts Attorney General, Maura Healey, headed up the lawsuit.
“The Trump Administration didn’t even attempt to explain the basis for this senseless rule, which forces schools to choose between keeping their international students enrolled and protecting the health and safety of their campuses,” Healey pointed out.
The attorneys general stressed that the guidance fails to consider the harm to international students and their families whose lives will be upended, adding that it “will also cause irreparable harm to the public health and the economy” of their states.
The lawsuit against the guidance has also been filed by Harvard and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, and about 100 members of Congress sent a letter to DHS urging the department to rescind the policy.
States such as Connecticut, Colorado, Maryland, Delaware, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Virginia, Nevada, Minnesota, New Jersey, Oregon, New Mexico, Rhode Island, Wisconsin, Vermont, and Michigan, also joined in Monday’s lawsuit.
International students have faced difficulties to go to the United States due to strict visa requirements and to take online-only courses has been prohibited.
Acting Homeland Security chief Ken Cuccinelli during an announcement for CNN last week said that
“If a school isn’t going to open or if they’re going to be 100% online, then we wouldn’t expect people to be here for that.”
Earlier this month, the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement announced that International students would not be eligible to stay in the US if their university switches to all-online classes to cope with the COVID-19 pandemic.