Harvard

Trump Administration Reverses Plan to Block International Student Visas

The Trump administration has reversed its plan to revoke visas of international students studying in the U.S. whose schools planned to provide their classes exclusively online in the fall because of the coronavirus pandemic.

The reversal comes as over a dozen universities and colleges threatened legal action against the administration’s order. The multi-faceted effort also was led by attorneys general in 17 states, including D.C., led by Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey.

On Monday, tech giants including Google, Microsoft, Facebook, and PayPal filed a court brief in support of the Harvard-MIT lawsuit, arguing that the visa order would cause “significant harm” to American businesses. “America’s future competitiveness depends on attracting and retaining talented international students,” the brief states.

While details about the reversal are still emerging, Reuters reports that “the U.S. government and Harvard University and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology who sued over the measure had come to a settlement that would make the rule moot.”

As is standard in the current White House, the revocation of the ICE order appears to be a matter of failing to effectively carry out its will, not a change of heart regarding the punitive policy. CNN reports that “the White House has felt the blowback to the proposal and that some inside the West Wing believe it was poorly conceived and executed.”

Featured Image Credit: Harvard University students walk through the campus. Getty Images/Joe Raedle

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